You may be aware of the fact that a power of attorney is a legal document that you can use to give another party the right to act on your behalf. There are different types of powers of attorney that can be utilized.
One thing that you need to know about a power of attorney is that you do not have to give the agent that you name in the document complete, unfettered power to act for you. It is possible to execute a limited power of attorney. As the name would indicate, with this type of POA, you can give the agent the ability to act for you within certain limits.
For example, let’s say that you sign legally binding documents regularly at work. You have to spend a couple of months in China doing business. You could execute a limited power of attorney giving your second-in-command the ability to act on your behalf to sign these documents for a limited amount of time.
With a general power of attorney, you would be giving the agent the right to act for you in a comprehensive manner. For the most part, the agent would be able to make any legally binding decision that you could make for yourself.
Here at our firm we focus on estate planning. In our area of the law, durable powers of attorney are often utilized to account for possible latter life incapacity.
You could use a durable power of attorney for health care to name someone to make medical decisions on your behalf in the event of your incapacitation. Your incapacity plan could also include a durable financial power of attorney.
The durable designation is operative. A power of attorney that is not specifically designated as durable would no longer be in effect if the grantor of the device was to suffer from incapacitation.
Your comprehensive estate plan should definitely include an incapacity planning component. It can be hard to envision a time when you will become unable to handle your affairs, but Alzheimer’s disease alone is enough to make incapacity planning essential.
We have all heard of this disease, but its widespread nature can be surprising. The Alzheimer’s Association tells us that around 45 percent of the oldest old are suffering from this disease. People with Alzheimer’s are typically going to become unable to make sound decisions, so you can prevent a guardianship if you execute your durable powers of attorney.
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We offer estate planning workshops on an ongoing basis at various locations throughout the Naples/Fort Myers area. These sessions are free to attend and you can click the following link to browse our schedule: Free Estate Planning Workshops.