What is a Power of Attorney and what does it do?
A Power of Attorney (POA) is a legally binding document that allows you to appoint someone to manage your property, medical, or financial affairs. This is particularly important in the case of your incapacity or disability when you cannot manage your affairs on your own. While thinking about one’s own incapacity or disability is an uncomfortable topic, it is an extremely important part of creating an estate plan.
There are several types of POA available to meet your needs. Each type gives your Agent (the person who will make decisions for you) a different level of control over your assets or your health care decisions. Some POAs take effect immediately after they're signed, and others only kick in after you're incapacitated.
One important fact to note is that any POA becomes null and void when the person it represents passes away. A Will or a Trust lists instructions for managing assets and affairs after death and therefore receive a lot of attention in the estate planning process. However, given that many people experience a period of incapacity or disability at some point before they pass away, it is crucial that your POA documents are properly coordinated with the rest of your estate plan.
Much like choosing a proper Personal Representative or Trustee, when designating your Agent under a POA, finding someone you know and trust is important. This person will act on your behalf to make crucial decisions about your well-being, finances, assets, or other affairs. Your Agent can be anyone you choose, so picking someone who will act in your best interest can bring you added peace of mind.
These important considerations are all aspects of the planning process that our attorneys at Lansing Legal Group have the expertise to help you to evaluate. Let us help you to protect your family and your assets by scheduling a review of your estate plan today.