Many people assume that a spouse or family member can just step in and take care of legal and financial affairs if the need arises. This is not the case. Without a Power-of-Attorney, your family may be forced to go through a costly and time-consuming court action to have a Guardian appointed to make decisions for you. If you do not have any family and have not named anyone to make decisions for you, you may be faced with becoming a “ward of the state” which refers to a person who is under the legal protection of a government agency. Executing a Power-of-Attorney document keeps you in charge when it comes to your own healthcare and financial decisions.