Many people associate only senior citizens as needing a power of attorney (POA). In fact, everyone should consider having a power of attorney document in place, regardless of age, health or any other factor. A POA is written authorization from you that gives authority to another individual to act on your behalf in personal and/or business matters. A POA can also be used by parents to transfer their parental rights over their children for a certain period of time. For example, if you are traveling out of the country and you want your child’s caretaker to be able to make medical decisions for them in an emergency. A POA is an essential part of even the simplest estate plans.
The POA permits you to appoint an individual that you trust to act as your agent or attorney in fact. This means that the person can manage your personal or financial affairs if you are unable to do so for yourself, but even more importantly, it also imposes a fiduciary obligation on him/her to act in your best interest and in accordance with your wishes. Most people choose to appoint a relative or close friend to act as their POA, but you can also name a lawyer, bank or other third-party.
Unless you specify otherwise, your POA will be revoked automatically if you should become incompetent. However, you can create a “durable” POA while you are competent and specifically set forth that your POA should remain intact upon your incapacity. You can also create a POA that does not become effective until certain conditions set forth by you are met. This is referred to as a “springing” POA. The most common condition for causing a POA to “spring” into effect is your incapacity. Typically, your incompetence must be verifiable by a qualified health care professional.
If you are interested in learning more about a power of attorney and how it can benefit you, call us today. The Astill Law Office has provided high quality legal services for over 30 years. We specialize in wills, trusts, estate planning, and asset protection. If you have any questions about how longevity insurance may fit in with your estate plan, contact The Astill Law Office at 801-438-8698.