What is Durable Power of Attorney
Planning for our estates and end-of-life care becomes increasingly important, despite how unpleasant it may seem. Part of this planning may include the possibility of being incapacitated and requiring someone else to make important decisions regarding your health or assets. One way to handle this is through appointing a durable power of attorney. A power of attorney can be very beneficial as it is a legal document with the ability to allocate decision-making authority or power to another individual. The person granted power is then enabled to perform actions like paying bills, executing documents, managing property, or making medical decisions depending on the scope of authority given.
How Does a Power of Attorney Work?
A power of attorney allocates the right to make certain decisions on another’s behalf. It is an important document that appoints an “agent” or “attorney-in-fact.” The individual retains the right to make decisions on their own. A power of attorney can be limited to making either financial or health care decisions on the individual’s behalf. A durable power of attorney may include a much broader set of powers. A power of attorney can limit the authority to make decisions to a specific amount of time or circumstances. A power of attorney is less costly than other ways of granting authority over assets or health. An ordinary power of attorney expires if you become mentally incompetent. A durable power of attorney includes wording that makes it effective even if that happens. The purpose of a durable power of attorney is to plan for cognitive decline, medical emergencies, or other situations where you are no longer capable of making decisions. A power of attorney is relatively low cost and allows a person to appoint the person of their choosing to the role.
If you do not appoint a durable power of attorney, the state decides who looks after your assets and health via a conservatorship. A conservatorship is most often used in cases where a person is unable to care for themselves either physically or mentally, or both.
A durable power of attorney goes into effect immediately.
Considering a Durable Power of Attorney?
If you are considering appointing a durable power of attorney, there are a few things to consider. First, you must be of sound mind. It is best to have a durable power of attorney in place long before concerns arise, even if you think you will never need to use it. You should also speak with a trusted, experienced estate attorney about your decision, as well as the person you would like to appoint to the role. What does he or she need to know about your wishes? What do you want this person to do when handling your assets? The goal anyone agreeing to a power of attorney should be to choose someone that will honor those beliefs and needs.
Contact an Estate Planning Attorney at The Mattar Firm
The Attorneys at The Mattar Firm are here to listen to your estate plans and help you execute same. Our experienced estate planning lawyers can answer any questions you may have and put your mind at ease. Call us today at 844-444-4444.