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Powers of attorney play an important role in estate planning and, more specifically, incapacity planning. You see, comprehensive estate planning involves putting protections in place for your future as well as that of your loved ones. With a power of attorney, you, the principal, empower another, your agent, to act and make decisions on your behalf. You can establish a health care power of attorney so that your agent can make health care decisions on your behalf should you become incapacitated. You can establish a durable financial power of attorney so that your financial affairs and other legal matters are handled by your agent even in the event of your incapacitation.

Reasons to Put a Power of Attorney in Place

A power of attorney can be an incredibly powerful legal tool. Often, however, putting such legal protections in place can involve unpleasant conversations such as how you would want your affairs to be managed should you become incapacitated sometime in the future. Despite the unpleasantness that may come with confronting such possibilities, there are a number of invaluable benefits putting a power of attorney in place can yield. These benefits include:

  • Peace of mind:  A power of attorney allows you to select a trusted individual or individuals who will be tasked with managing things like your health care to your financial affairs and other legal matters. With this, you can enjoy the peace of mind of knowing things will be handled regardless of what the future holds. Even if there comes a time when you are unable to take care of these things for yourself, someone you hand-selected will be there to takeover.
  • Taking control of your future:  When you, the principal, put a power of attorney in place, you decide who will be authorized to manage what on your behalf. That is your call. It will not be decided by a court, but by you. This means you get to select someone you trust and whose judgment you trust. You get to talk to this person about your preferences, goals, and more so that they are prepared to step up and serve in their role as agents should the need arise.
  • Avoiding costly legal procedures:  Putting powers of attorney in place can help you and your loved ones avoid costly, stressful, and time-consuming legal procedures down the road. If you have put the proper legal protections in place, you may avoid guardianship proceedings should you become incapacitated. Without such protections, guardianship proceedings may be initiated so that the court can appoint someone of their choice to manage your care and your affairs if it is determined that you are legally incapacitated. Guardianship cases can be quite overwhelming for all involved and powers of attorney can help avoid the need for one.

Estate Planning Attorney

For a strong estate plan that includes protections such as powers of attorney, Verras Law is here for you. Contact Verras Law today.