Powers of Attorney: What Are They?
A Power of Attorney is simply a grant of authority. The Principal (you) give authority to another (agent) in writing. But why have one?
Having a Power of Attorney in place:
1. Avoids confusion
2. Avoids litigation
3. Avoids the need for a guardianship/conservator
4. Allows someone to engage in action on your behalf
5. Gives emergency authority when you cannot or do not want to act on your own behalf
There are different types of powers of attorney for different situations:
Durable Powers of attorney- Powers (authority) continue after you become incapacitated.
Springing powers of attorney- These powers “Spring” into action at a certain time or at a certain event.
General Powers of Attorney- Grant authority to the agent of all the powers that the principal (you) could exercise over your assets. This type of power provides the most flexibility and minimizes risk of a conservator being appointed.
Limited Powers of Attorney- Powers limited to a specific purpose.
What happens if you don’t have any Power of Attorney documents in place?
The Court will appoint a decision maker for you when you do not have the capacity to manage your affairs. The Court will appoint a conservator to assist with financial affairs and a guardian to assist with personal and health related needs.
Powers of Attorney are useful tools to have in day to day life as well as in the case of an emergency. Talk to an Estate Planning attorney to create custom Powers of Attorney to fit your needs.
Information in this blog post is not legal advice but general information. Contact an estate planning attorney to implement a plan for you.