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Power of Attorney

A power of attorney is used for situations where an individual cannot be present, but that individual has entrusted someone to do the job in their place. When someone holds "a power of attorney," they are able to enter into contracts, negotiate, and settle matters as if they were that other person.

An ordinary power of attorney can usually be completed by completing specific forms for your state of residence. The power of attorney typically expires when a grantor becomes incompetent or passes away. The theory is that if the principal couldn't do it on their own, then the agent shouldn't be able to do it either. This makes sense in many financial and commercial situations, but makes little sense when dealing with elderly issues.

 

Durable Power of Attorney

A Durable Power of Attorney can act on a person's behalf even while that person is still alive. People suffering from dementia or senility, who are no longer competent to make their own decisions, need to continue to make financial and medical transactions long after they have the capacity to do so. A Durable Power of Attorney allows them to do that.

Setting up a Durable Power of Attorney is as easy as signing a single legal document, naming who you would like to appoint as your agent. There are no hearings or court proceedings to go through.

What happens if you do suffer from dementia or are incapacitated, and have not signed a Durable Power of Attorney? If you have not named an agent to act on your behalf, you can only hope that someone will become a Conservator for you.

Conservatorship is a lengthy and expensive court procedure requiring someone to volunteer to become your Conservator. Finding a volunteer, whom you trust with your affairs, to suddenly appear and want to be your Conservator is rare. In many cases, it is also unreasonable to expect there will be enough money and time to go through the court proceedings necessary to establish the conservatorship.

Individuals granted Power of Attorney must, by law, act in good faith at all times on behalf of the grantor. Suppose an elderly man is declared incompetent, but had given his adult child a Durable Power of Attorney. The son cannot turn around and put his father's house in the child's name, or sell off assets for his own use. The law maintains agents have a fiduciary duty to the grantor, and cannot take advantage of his or her position.

 

Medical Power of Attorney

A Medical Power of Attorney (also known as a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care) is so critical, because it allows a trusted agent to make healthcare decisions on your behalf. Few hospitals wish to take on the responsibility of determining your healthcare decisions for you, especially in this litigious society.

The Medical Power of Attorney helps your doctors determine when life-supporting measures should be stopped. If your wish is to not use life-sustaining measurer, you can convey this to the person you've named, and they will be able to fulfill your wishes on your behalf. A Medical Power of Attorney only has this responsibility to you for healthcare decisions, and cannot make financial or other decisions on your behalf (unless, of course, you've granted both Powers of Attorney to the same person).

 

 

Read More About Powers of Attorney

Power of attorney laws vary from state to state. However, the professionals at SaveWealth can help you establish your own Power of Attorney, and teach you how to combine these important tools with other advanced estate planning techniques.

For a FREE Special Report on the Durable and Medical Power of Attorney, simply contact us. Your request is confidential, and the information will be sent right away.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Why Plan Your Estate?
Introduction to Wills
Living Trusts
The Perils of Probate
Durable and Medical Power of Attorney
Taxes, taxes, taxes!
Creating a Second Estate
Dynasty Trusts
The Legacy Trust
Family Limited Partnerships (FLiPs)
Charitable Trusts
Building on a Solid Foundation
Funding Your Estate Plan
Choosing a Qualified Attorney
How You Can Plan for Your Own Estate

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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