One important aspect of having a comprehensive estate plan is creating a power of attorney (POA). The POA document authorizes another party to act on your behalf in personal and/or business matters. If you have not appointed a POA, contact us immediately for assistance.
There are several reasons why you need a POA. Nobody knows when “their time” will be, so it is important to take action while you can. When you appoint somebody to act as your POA, they are your “agent” or “attorney in fact.” In other words, your appointee will be permitted to manage your finances and other personal matters if you become incapacitated or otherwise unable to handle them for yourself.
If the idea of giving another party this type of power concerns you, it is important to understand that the POA is obligated by law to act as your fiduciary. In other words, a POA is obligated to act in your best interest and follow your wishes at all times. Your POA should be somebody you trust, such as a family member or close friend, but you can also appoint a third-party such as a lawyer or financial institution.
The two main types of powers of attorney are the:
Durable power of attorney. A durable POA is effective immediately and it is not necessary to prove your incapacity before the POA can act on your behalf.
Springing power of attorney. This POA only becomes effective if certain specified conditions outlined by you are met. For example, you can require that a physician (or a court of law) declares you to be incapacitated and unable to handle your own affairs before the POA is effective.
If you want to learn more about creating a power of attorney and how it can benefit you, give us a call for an appointment. Take action to appoint the person you trust the most while you are able to make the decision.
Contact us today to schedule your initial consultation. The attorneys at The Swenson Law Firm provide estate planning services and a variety of business law services to entities of all sizes.