A Power of Attorney (“POA”) is a legal document that compliments a Will and a Revocable Trust. A POA allows you to appoint another person to handle your finances in the event you become disabled, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to manage your finances. The person you appoint is referred to as your agent. A POA can grant your agent general authority to manage your property, business, and other financial matters for you. Your POA is only effective during your lifetime. Your Will and Trust will control all your financial matters and your estate after your death.
It is important that you correctly identify your POA as “durable”, this means that your agent will remain in control of your finances even after you become incapacitated or otherwise unable to manage your finances. A POA can only be used by your agent to perform the duties and responsibilities and exercise the rights and powers set forth in your POA. Accordingly, it is essential that you consult with a qualified legal professional to ensure that your POA is designed to achieve your objectives.
A properly drafted POA can help you avoid a conservatorship court proceeding. A conservatorship is a process in which a judge appoints a person to manage your finances on your behalf, if you become unable to manage your finances and do not have a POA. Having an estate plan that includes a Durable Power of Attorney can provide your loved ones authority to handle your finances if you become disabled, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to manage your own finances.
If you have any questions about your estate plan or would like us to prepare a Durable Power of Attorney for you, call us at 801-447-5577.