Giving the power of attorney to a trustworthy individual will make the thought of being powerless to make your own financial or health choices a little less frightening. This article discusses the power to manage financial and/or health care decisions on your behalf to another person.
Non-Durable vs. Durable Power of Attorney
The durable power of attorney is the greatest defence for estate planning. When you sign it, it goes into practice, remains in effect until you become incapacitated, and then expires until you die or withdraw it.
Another choice that you should consider is a sustainable springing power of attorney. When a particular occurrence arises, it “springs” into action, such as being declared incompetent. Make sure you describe the event specifically if you do this, otherwise your agent will need to obtain a judicial order to operate on your behalf.
On the other side, once you become incapacitated, a non-durable power of attorney expires. It is valuable for the pursuit of particular, short-term objectives but not for the intent of estate planning.
Depending on the state’s rules, a power of attorney must be signed before a notary public, with probably additional witnesses.
As long as you are always able to make judgments, you may withdraw power of attorney at any moment. However, if you do so, you will have to send a written notice to your lawyer.
You can have two different powers of attorney for maximum protection: one for investments and one for health care.
Financial Power of Attorney
A financial power of attorney gives the lawyer the power to do stuff like paying your bills, handling your investments, and filing your taxes.
You can provide your finances with as much or as little access as you choose. Bear in mind that your agent would require complete (or nearly full) access if you become incapacitated. Otherwise, there may be stuff that he or she is unable to do for you.
Medical Power of Attorney
This document allows the agent to direct all of your treatment decisions if you cannot do so.
It would help if you also create a living will detailing how to manage multiple scenarios to guarantee better the agent understands your care priorities. Many states authorize you to merge the will to live and the durable power of attorney for health care into one document, referred to as the Advance Health Care Directive.
Who can have power of attorney?
An attorney-in-fact can be anyone who is technically an adult and not physically incapacitated. It should be somebody you know.
The same person will, if you desire, possess all your financial and health care powers. You can appoint a successor agent when naming an initial agent fails.
When you are creating a power of attorney, it’s crucial to think about things properly. If you wish to double-check your paper, you should have an estate planning lawyer read it for you.