The Importance of Durable Powers of Attorney
There are various aspects to planning an estate, and there are various forms of paperwork to make those aspects viable in the long term. One important document is the power of attorney. There are different types of powers of attorney, but one to consider is the durable power of attorney. Here’s what it does and why it’s valuable.
What Is a Durable Power of Attorney?
A durable power of attorney is how someone (the principal) can appoint someone else (the agent) to act on their behalf and make critical decisions if the principal becomes mentally incapacitated. In this type of power of attorney, the agent can handle decisions regarding business, financial, and legal concerns. The power of attorney details how much responsibility the agent has and how much they’re allowed to handle.
Why Is a Durable Power of Attorney Valuable?
Having a durable power of attorney in place can allow the principal to attend to other matters in their life, knowing they’ve ensured their intentions and wishes have been made known and are in the hands of a responsible person who will oversee them. It also can make the principal’s family members more at ease, knowing they won’t have to make difficult decisions during a time of grief and stress.
Things to Consider When Selecting Someone to Act as Your Durable Power of Attorney
The agent will have a considerable amount of responsibility and authority over the principal’s affairs, so it needs to be someone that can be fully trusted. Family members are often selected, but there are times when that isn’t advised. If there is already conflict among family members, appointing one of them as the agent can lead to increased conflict. Then it might be better to have a non-family member involved.
It’s also essential to define the things the agent has the authority to do. This is where the advice of an experienced estate planning attorney can be valuable, as they could have insights and advice others haven’t thought of. That can help avoid issues down the road.
Let Me Advise You
If you or someone you know would benefit from exploring various aspects of estate planning, including powers of attorney, call me at 610-718-6368.