Everyone should spend time estate planning at some point in their lives. It is essential to bring financial affairs in order by formulating documents which may specify how your belongings will be handled and whom will assume ownership of your assets and liabilities. Most people hire an experienced estate planning lawyer to help them in this process, which is a smart thing to do as any ambiguity or vagueness in documents can be problematic for their heirs.
However, they often tend to ignore one aspect pertaining to estate planning: durable power of attorney. A survey by Caring.com shows that only 53% of U.S adults have granted authorization to make decisions for their health care. It is equally important to plan for your incapacity to ensure that your legal and healthcare decisions can be made by an appropriate person in case, perish the thought, you suffer from a disability or medical condition, which may render you incapable of making or communicating a decision.
A Durable Power of Attorney
A general power of attorney expires in case a person develops mental incapability due to an injury or a sickness, which may leave them unable to handle their own affairs. On the other hand, a durable power of attorney does not end in such instances.
A durable power of attorney designates a reliable person, commonly a spouse or a child, to make financial and legal decisions on your behalf. This document provides them with power to manage your property and protect your assets, amongst other authorities. In absence of a power of attorney, a court-ordered guardianship may be required to manage the affairs of an individual, which can be time consuming and expensive.
Therefore, having a durable power of attorney is imperative to ensure that these matters are taken care of in advance. However, documents pertaining to this power must require careful consideration due to complicated laws and regulations. Thus, it can be highly beneficial to acquire services of a competent and experienced estate planning lawyer to devise a document pertaining to durable power of attorney. There are many other benefits of getting help from an attorney. For instance, many financial institutions may give precedence to newer documents. Your lawyer will ensure the integrity of this document by notifying you to regularly update your durable power of attorney document in every 3-5 years. Moreover, they will ensure the correct person is named and keep the original copy safe, which is imperative to exercise the rights.
However, the durable power of attorney automatically becomes ineffective on your death. The nominated person can no longer act on your behalf once you are deceased. Therefore, it cannot be treated as a substitute of will. It is most advisable to consult an experienced estate planning lawyer to manage your financial affairs as such lawyers have comprehensive knowledge and understanding of applicable laws. This will reduce the chances of any legal complications and ensure that your final wishes are executed without any technical hitches.
If you are planning to prepare your durable power of attorney document or wish to gather further information regarding estate planning, contact the offices of John Grundy at 330-637-9030 to schedule a free consultation session with an experienced estate planning lawyer.