Powers of Attorney
There are two primary powers of attorney: health care power of attorney and short form power of attorney for property. These forms are legal documents that name an agent to act on your behalf in the event of your incapacity. These documents provide tremendous security to you and your family in the event of a decline in your health. Powers of attorney can provide tremendous peace of mind to you and your family members because you know that your wishes will be followed, and you know who will be making decisions on your behalf concerning health and financial matters.
End of life care and decisions are frequently a cause of great turbulence among the families of people who have become incapacitated. Specifying a particular agent can be extraordinarily helpful in terms of providing clarity and guidance to your loved ones in the event of incapacity or in connection with end of life directives.
At Wills & Trusts, our attorneys have spent a great deal of time addressing sensitive family issues involving end of life care or time sensitive financial issues where no powers of attorney have been signed. This can lead to disputes, headaches, heartache, delays and incredible cost. Any estate plan should include a properly signed and witnessed power of attorney suite.
A power of attorney is a vital protection in the event of unforeseen incapacity. In the event of an illness or an accident resulting in your incapacity, your nominated Power of Attorney will be able to manage your financial and health affairs.
Typically we recommend durable power of attorney over property so that your agent can take care of your day-to-day affairs as needed. Additionally, we recommend a healthcare power of attorney to appoint an agent over your medical care in the event of incapacity.
You never know when your attorney in fact will need to act. We retain copies of executed power of attorney documents, and it is a good idea to keep a copy in a safe place. We usually recommend allowing the agent to keep a copy as well so they can act quickly if necessary.
Typically, a power of attorney does not expire unless a specific expiration date is included in the document. If you need to revoke a power of attorney, you can complete a Revocation of Power of Attorney form so long as you are mentally competent at the time of execution.