Durable Power of Attorney
What is a Durable Power of Attorney?
A Durable Power of Attorney is a legal document that allows someone you choose to act in your place.
Why do you need a Durable Power of Attorney?
What if something happens to you, maybe you get sick, are in an accident, or are feeling the effects of aging. A Durable Power of Attorney will allow someone designated by you to make financial decisions for you when you are no longer able to do so for yourself. A timely executed Durable Power of Attorney is effective even after you become incapacitated, yet becomes ineffective upon your death.
A Durable Power of Attorney can allow your agent to do things like pay your bills, file tax returns, even sell your property, or transfer stocks and bonds, but it doesn’t stop here. Under a Durable Power of Attorney someone you trust can also help you collect government benefits, in other words, they can handle all your financial affairs if you want them to.
When does a Durable Power of Attorney become effective?
There are two options, you can choose your agent to have these powers immediate, or you can decide to wait until you legally are deemed unable to handle your own affairs. It really is up to you.
I have a General Power of Attorney, do I really need a Durable Power of Attorney?
A Durable Power of Attorney is different from a General Power of Attorney in so far that a non-Durable Power of Attorney loses its power when your mental faculties are compromised.
Can you get a Durable Power of Attorney for a family member or yourself after becoming mentally incapacitated?
Sadly, No. Usually, the only thing that can be done when there is not a Durable Power of Attorney is to have the court appoint a Guardian over your estate (and or Person), either on a temporary basis, or a permanent basis. This process requires a lot more time to complete, and usually is very costly when comparing it to setting up an estate plan that includes a Durable Power of Attorney when you still can.
Do you need to get a Durable Power of Attorney when you are married, or when your parents are still living?
Unless you specifically gave someone the authority under a power of attorney or Durable Power of Attorney, no one is presumed to have any rights over you once you turn 18 years of age, not even your spouse, parents or siblings.
Have you designated someone to make your financial decisions for you in the event you are unable to do so?
If not, you need to call us now. Durable Powers of Attorney are simple and inexpensive and can be extremely valuable in the event of a disability. We can help you set up an Estate Plan that will fit your personal needs. Call or contact us today! We are here to help.
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Ms. Schoemakers knowledge of law extends beyond family law. She always places the interest of her client above all else. Truly an asset to the profession.