A really vital part of estate planning is planning not for death, but incapacitation. Yes, neither make for pleasant conversation, but these are issues that we must all confront if we are to put plans in place to protect our wishes and our goals for the future. It does not matter how old you are or what health condition you are in, incapacity planning is something you should seriously consider. That is because none of us are immune from the unpredictable happening. There are accidents. There are sudden injuries. There are so many uncertainties in our future. Putting incapacity planning tools in place can bring you much peace of mind knowing your wishes will be honored regardless of what the future holds. One such tool that is central to incapacity planning is the power of attorney.
Why Put a Power of Attorney in Place?
A power of attorney is such a valuable incapacity planning tool very much due to how it functions and the variety of purposes it can serve. A power of attorney allows a principal, the person establishing the power of attorney, to empower a specified person, the agent, to carry out various affairs on the principal’s behalf. When a power of attorney is durable, that means the power remains in place regardless of whether the principal were to become incapacitated. If you make a durable power of attorney springing, this means that the power of attorney does not come into effect unless or until the principal becomes incapacitated.
The things you can accomplish with a power of attorney run a wide range. You can put a financial power of attorney in place so that your agent is empowered to manage financial matters, either broad or narrow in range depending on what you specify, on your behalf. A health care power of attorney means that your agent will be empowered to make health care decisions on your behalf. Health care decisions can range from who you treat with, where you receive treatment, and what treatment you receive. A power of attorney can be broad in nature or narrow in nature. It is up to you, the principal, to determine how much authority you want to grant to your agent.
When you put comprehensive powers of attorney in place, you can rest easy knowing that your affairs and health care will be managed no matter what. You could suffer a sudden incapacitation and your affairs would continue to be managed. Not only would they continue to be managed, but they would continue to be managed by a trusted individual that you hand selected. Without putting such protections in place, there would likely be a delay in the management of your care and your affairs until a court could appoint a person on your behalf.
Estate Planning Attorneys
Make sure you have taken the steps needed to help ensure your wishes are honored no matter what life throws your way. The dedicated estate planning team at Jones, Gregg, Creehan & Gerace can help you accomplish this. Contact us today.