As people age, they begin to think of the people and things they will leave behind after they pass away. Having a plan in place will help to ensure that your family is taken care of after your death and that your assets are divided fairly. Whether you have a sizable estate or only a few key possessions, you should make sure that your intentions regarding them are carried out. Estate planning is a process that can involve a variety of activities, such as setting up trusts or drafting a will for your family to follow.
I am committed to helping you plan for the future. At the Estate Preservation Group, I help individuals and families in Carlsbad, CA and the surrounding areas understand their estate planning options. One step that you should consider as you begin your estate planning process is determining who you would trust to hold your power of attorney.
A power of attorney is a legal document that gives a predetermined individual the ability to make decisions on your behalf if you are unable to. If you are injured, ill, or in any way incapacitated, it is important that you have someone you trust who can make important decisions for you. This document can be as general or specific as you wish for it to be, but it is best to provide as much guidance as possible.
There are many details that need special attention when creating a power of attorney document. First, you must decide who you will name to honor your power of attorney request. This should be someone that you trust to follow your wishes properly. You must also establish what circumstances will require the use of your power of attorney, such as major injuries or incapacitating illnesses, and how much power the chosen person will have. Clarifying these details well before they are needed will help make the potential transition run more smoothly.
The amount of power that is granted through a power of attorney is largely determined by your needs and the needs of your loved ones. A power of attorney could grant someone the power to do something small, such as signing paperwork to finalize the sale of property or vehicles. It could also, however, provide someone with the authorization necessary to make all decisions for you if you cannot. This type of power would include financial decisions, medical decisions, and anything else you deem necessary. This power will be in effect while you are incapacitated and still living, but it will expire in the event of your death. At that point, if you have written a will or established a trust, that will take effect.
Do you need a power of attorney? Yes. A power of attorney is an important legal tool that gives a trusted person decision-making authority over important aspects of your life. If you grant a power of attorney to someone, he or she will be able to make certain financial or legal decisions on your behalf in the event you become incapacitated or are otherwise unable to conduct a transaction for yourself.
There are different types of powers of attorney, including:
The process of planning your estate requires considerable care and analysis of every detail. Establishing your power of attorney is no different. When you are planning your estate and deciding who to name as the agent of your power of attorney, it is important to understand the process. There are six steps that are necessary to establish your power of attorney:
Creating a power of attorney gives you the opportunity to plan for the possibility that you will be unable to make decisions for yourself. It ensures that, even if you are mentally or physically incapable of making decisions, your wishes can be carried out by a trusted party. There are many things you can do with a power of attorney, depending on your personal needs. Some of the most common things you can give someone power over are finances, medical decisions, the giving of gifts, and real estate decisions.
A power of attorney is beneficial in many circumstances, but it does not provide your agent with unchecked power or access. From a legal viewpoint, the attorney-in-fact appointed in your power of attorney is only able to make decisions about the specific areas of your life that you established beforehand. It is important to choose the best agent or attorney-in-fact to ensure that they follow your wishes properly and do not try to gain unnecessary access to your information or finances.
Planning for the possibility that you will be unable to make important decisions for yourself is an important step in estate planning. It can give you peace of mind as you plan for the end of your life. It can also help ensure that your loved ones and assets are well taken care of. Working with an experienced and knowledgeable estate planning attorney can make the process easier.
A power of attorney is an effective legal tool, but must be drafted with care. With more than 30 years of legal experience, estate planning lawyer Paul V. L. Campo at the Estate Preservation Group can help you establish powers of attorney and other estate planning documents that work for you.
Arrange a consultation with our lawyer to discuss your options. Contact us online.
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