Elder law lawyers provide you with help making an incapacity plan. For many people making an incapacity plan, one of the key components of that plan is a power of attorney (POA). Creating a power of attorney can allow you to maintain a measure of autonomy in case something happens to you and you cannot act on your own any longer. However, creating a power of attorney may not be as simple as it seems on the surface, as there are different kinds of powers of attorney and different tools you can use to customize your POA to meet your needs.
Unsworth LaPlante, PLLC is here to help with the creation of a comprehensive incapacity plan, including with the creation of a power of attorney that is structured to meet your needs. To find out how our firm can help you, give us a call today.
What is a Springing Power of Attorney?
When you make an incapacity plan and you want a power of attorney to be a part of that plan, you will want to create a general power of attorney. A general power of attorney allows you to name an agent or an attorney in fact and to give that agent broad authority to act for you. While you could also create a limited power of attorney, this is usually done when there is a specific transaction that you want someone else to act for you in completing. For example, if you have to be out of town when papers are signed to close a deal, you could create a limited power of attorney to designate an agent to sign the papers for you.
If you are hoping to name a trusted person to act as your agent in case of incapacity, you’d want the grant of authority to be very broad. Your agent will have a fiduciary duty to act in your best interests and you will want the agent to have the authority to make the decisions necessary to protect you and your wealth. Since you want the grant of authority to stay in place in case of your incapacity, you will also need to make sure that the power of attorney is durable. If you do not make a durable power of attorney, then the grant of authority would end when you become incapacitated and the power of attorney would not be a useful part of your incapacity plan.
In some cases, you may not want your agent to get the broad authority you have conferred to act on your behalf until such time as you become incapacitated. If that is the case for you, then you should consider creating a springing power of attorney. When you make a springing power of attorney, you can specify that the grant of authority only goes into effect at such time as when you become incapacitated. A springing durable power of attorney, therefore, would mean your grant of authority goes into effect at the time of incapacity and remains in effect even after you are incapacitated.
You should talk with an experienced attorney about the pros and cons of a springing durable power of attorney and about the other options for creating a power of attorney that will allow you to grant your desired agent or attorney in fact the authority that you wish to confer to act for you in case you become incapacitated due to illness or injury.
Getting Help from Elder Law Lawyers
Elder law lawyers can assist with creating a springing durable power of attorney or with otherwise using the appropriate legal tools to plan ahead for who will manage your assets or make your decisions in case of incapacity. We can also help you with the creation of a living trust to take more control over who will manage your assets in case of incapacity and with the creation of advanced directives to take more control over medical care you receive if you are incapacitated and unable to accept or deny care in the moment when it is needed.
To find out more about how our firm can help you with all of your incapacity planning needs, join us for a free seminar. You can also give us a call at (802) 879-7133 or contact us online at any time to talk with an attorney who can help you to create your personalized incapacity plan.