Power of Attorney
Powers of attorney are a useful estate planning tool which protects a person and their property in the event they become unable to make decisions. A power of attorney grants a designated individual the ability to help the grantor with decisions. When a durable power of attorney is given, the designated individual may not only help the grantor with current decisions, they may also make decisions for the grantor on their own, should he or she become incompetent or otherwise incapacitated.
Powers of attorney are not appropriate for everyone. In fact, we encourage you to speak with an attorney about the costs and benefits associated with granting someone power of attorney.
There are specific types of powers of attorney which may be granted:
- General Power of Attorney: Grants general power to a person to make decisions about all aspects of the person's life.
- Limited Power of Attorney: Limits a person's power to make decisions to specific areas.
- Healthcare/Medical Power of Attorney: Grants someone the ability to make decisions about medical treatment and end of life care.
- Financial Power of Attorney: Provides the individual with the authority to make decisions about financial affairs.
If you fail to grant someone a power of attorney, the State will appoint a guardian or conservator to make these decisions. However, the person appointed by the state may not be the person you would have selected. Thus, it is important to remain in control of these important decisions regarding guardianship.
Before our firm drafts any power of attorney, we will sit down and learn more about your specific circumstances. In fact, after careful consultation, people sometimes determine that they do not wish to grant this type of authority to anyone. If you do decide to create a power of attorney, we will determine whether it becomes effective immediately, or only at the time of your incapacitation. Only after learning these things, can we draft the most appropriate power of attorney for your situation.