Power Of Attorney
A comprehensive estate plan takes into account all situations that might require someone else to handle one’s personal or financial affairs, before or after death. While you are still living, you may someday lose capacity to manage your assets and make decisions for yourself.
- It might be temporary, such as after a car accident or after surgery or while you are unavailable for a prolonged period of time for any reason (in jail, kidnapped or on a cruise).
- It might be in the days or weeks leading up to your eventual death. Many people reach a point when they are no longer competent to handle their own finances because they are in a coma, they are gravely ill or they are suffering from dementia.
Carefully chosen powers of attorney can relieve your loved ones of many burdens if you are in such a condition someday. With a durable power of attorney, your selected personal representative can handle your finances and property, make decisions about where you should live and otherwise handle your personal affairs.
- A power of attorney can be customized, such as allowing or not allowing someone to sell your house before your death, for example, according to your preferences expressed in the document.
- A medical power of attorney or advance health care directive can likewise give your named representative the ability to make decisions about your medical care.
Recommended: A Timely Review Of Estate Plan Documents, Including Powers Of Attorney
Many people assume that the need for a power of attorney or a living will is likely to occur many years in the future. However, families of young people sometimes unexpectedly need powers of attorney. Without a power of attorney, your parents, children or spouse will likely incur extra expenses and endure difficulties getting legal authority to handle your personal business.
If you work with the Law Office of Cliff Collins on an estate plan, you will receive not only documents such as wills, but also thoughtful direction and advice. For example, attorney Cliff Collins will remind you to review beneficiary designations on retirement accounts. He will also recommend that you give copies of your health care directive and powers of attorney to your family members who may someday have authority to speak for you and manage your finances. This is not only a loving thing to do, but also a very practical, foresighted way to protect assets as well as family members’ peace of mind.