An estate plan allows an individual to detail how their estate – their money and property – should be handled after they’ve passed on. But sometimes events occur that render you incapacitated, meaning unable to handle your affairs while you are alive. Including a Durable Power of Attorney document in your estate plan is a very important way to address this possibility.
A California Durable Power of Attorney is a tool that is written up to allow you, while you are healthy, to designate someone you trust to act as your agent and manage your financial affairs if you become unable to do so because of an illness or injury.
An advance healthcare directive includes a medical power of attorney or a power of attorney for healthcare and is a different document that allows you to designate an agent to make medical treatment decisions should you become incapacitated.
The power of attorney (POA) grants your agent with important power and responsibility. Your agent has the power to make financial decisions as you would want done. That is a lot of responsibility to give to someone. Therefore, you will want to select someone you trust who is capable of carrying out the needed tasks and has a good understanding of financial matters.
For example, if you were in a major car accident and ended up unconscious, your financial obligations still need to be addressed such as bills paid, mortgage paid, and taxes filed. If your financial matters aren’t handled in a timely manner, your health issues could be compounded by financial troubles. Andrew Fesler can advise you about how to best select your POA agent.
Again you will want to choose your POA agent while you are of sound mind and can make a well-measured selection. Your POA agent must have the ability to act with care and financial intelligence.
A durable power of attorney means your agent is generally authorized to act once you sign the document and then can act when you become incapacitated. The term “durable” refers to the document surviving your incapacity. It ends if you die, meaning upon your death, your agent no longer has power over your financial matters.
The durable power of attorney functions to ensure your named agent is recognized by financial institutions and will not be questioned when making decisions on your behalf. Such authority prevents your agent from having those actions overridden by other parties such as family members who may have different reasons than you for making certain financial decisions.
Incapacity can also occur and often does, with long-term illness and aging. When you are no longer clearly communicate your wishes or take care of your financial affairs due to age-related senility or a debilitating illness, your durable power of attorney functions to make sure your finances are properly managed. You may live a long time in an elderly state where proper management of your monies and property is needed to pay for your care and provide for your loved one. You may need your trusted agent to sell property, make investments, and in general function to wisely care for your finances. Once you pass, your will, trust or other estate plan elements come into effect.
An agent with durable power of attorney in the state of California is empowered to make financial decisions on your behalf when you are incapacitated. These can be:
You want to think about who can handle these types of tasks in the manner you would want. You will want to tell the person you are selecting that you are doing so, so you have their willingness to act as your agent and have familiarity with your finances.
Because the durable power of attorney is so important let Andrew Fesler help you with creating your Durable Power of Attorney as well as create an estate plan. Please contact the Law Office of Andrew Fesler today.