A power of attorney is a highly important aspect to consider when you begin your estate planning process. A durable power of attorney can help you handle your finances and estate when you become unable to do so.
Executing a power of attorney should not be cast off as a final step in your estate plan. It's essential to create a power of attorney before you need it to help ensure your affairs are in order. Learn more about executing a power of attorney and how to start your plan before it's too late.
What is a Power of Attorney?
A power of attorney is a document that allows you to appoint another person to act in your place. This can be extremely important should you become incapacitated. The purpose of this document is to ensure that your affairs are appropriately dealt with when you are unable to handle them yourself.
There are special considerations to keep in mind when you create a power of attorney. Power of attorney documents are often multiple pages long and map out things such as who you want your agent to be, when they should start acting on your behalf, and what powers they have as your agent.
This document is essential to outline how you want your affairs to be handled later on in life. An experienced estate planning attorney can help you create this document and ensure that it is put into place when it becomes necessary.
Why Do I Need a Power of Attorney?
Over the years you have likely acquired a number of assets that you want to keep safe. A power of attorney can help you specify what happens to these assets when you become incapacitated.
When you appoint an agent in a power of attorney document, you give them the ability to act on your behalf in regards to your finances and late-in-life care. They can help you maintain your affairs and make any decisions necessary about your estate.
It's important to recognize that you can only create a power of attorney if you have the legal capacity to do so. If you become incapacitated due to injury, dementia, or something else, it's critical that a trustworthy person can step in to handle your affairs.
What Happens if I Don't Have a Power of Attorney?
If you don't have a power of attorney set up, no one can in that capacity unless a court elects a conservator or guardian. Without a power of attorney document, the decision as to who can act on your behalf may be entirely up to a judge.
The court process to elect an agent to act on your behalf costs money and can take up valuable time. It can also rear difficulties in the future when your guardian or conservator needs to make important decisions.
Don't hesitate to create your power of attorney. The longer you wait, the more likely it is for your fate to end up in someone else's hands. It's also wise to enlist a reputable attorney to help you set it up, as improper documentation and execution can void this decision.
Brad Sarkauskas with Heritage Law office is well-versed in estate planning and is eager to help you today. He will help you construct a comprehensive power of attorney and advise you on any legal matters you should consider. Contact the office at (414) 253-8500 for a free case evaluation today.