A durable power of attorney is an essential estate planning tool. A durable power of attorney can be utilized for Financial and/or Appointment of a Health Care Representative. A Financial Power of Attorney and a Heath Care Power of Attorney should be part of your estate plan whether you are an individual or a couple.
Why create a power of attorney? Because, if you become disabled and unable to handle your affairs this document can be invaluable. If, you are in an accident and are unable to make decisions or handle your financial affairs or your health care needs, the person designated as your power of attorney can do that for you. A person must be competent in order to create a power of attorney. If you are in an accident or have an illness that renders you not competent to handle your Affairs you are probably not competent to create a power of attorney at that time. Creating a power of attorney and naming a person as your power of attorney does not mean that person must act for you, it allows them to if the need arises. You can still conduct your own Affairs and handle all of your financial and health care needs while you are competent and able to do so.
What makes a power of attorney such a wonderful estate planning tool is that if it is needed it can be used instead of the need for a guardianship. A guardianship is a procedure where a relative, friend, or other interested person files a petition in the court requesting the court to appoint them guardian of your person and/or estate in order to make decisions for you financially or for your health care. There will generally be a hearing in front of the judge. Guardianship proceedings can be somewhat costly and will take some time to accomplish. Having a power of attorney in place in case it might be needed is something we recommend for all of our clients.
Financial Durable Power of Attorney and Durable Power of Attorney Appointing a Health Care Representative are very important but sometimes are never used, however if needed they can make it a lot easier and substantially less burdensome for the person who is now tasked with making all your financial and medical decisions. The need for a power of attorney is not usually known until it is too late. To prevent unnecessary hard-ache and additional costs and time, invest in a power of attorney now, making that one less thing that a loved one must deal with at a later time.
We, at Perry Law Office, P.C., feel this is an essential part of any estate plan and will strongly suggest you create both a Financial Durable Power of Attorney and Durable Power of Attorney Appointing a Health Care Representative along with your Will. These estate planning documents working well together and help to fully ensure that your wishes are carried out as you intended. In general Power of Attorneys end at death and a Will does not become effective until death.
Call Perry Law Office to talk to an experienced Estate Planning Attorney for a free telephone consultation to see if a power of attorney is something that is right for you.
Perry Law Office, P.C.