A power of attorney is one of the most important estate planning documents that you need to create. A durable power of attorney can give you control over your future and can help your family to avoid having to go through a difficult court process at a time when they are concerned about your health.
Creating a durable power of attorney should be done when you are in good health and able to make sound decisions. An experienced Essex Junction estate planning lawyer at Unsworth Law can help you to take the steps necessary to create a power of attorney that will protect you and your loved ones in case the worst happens and you become unable to make your own decisions in the future.
The Importance of Creating a Durable Power of Attorney
A power of attorney is a legal document in which a principal names an agent or an attorney in fact to take action on his behalf and to make decisions for him. There are different kinds of power of attorney. You can create a limited power of attorney, which allows your agent or attorney in fact to do a particular task like signing papers for you to close a deal when you cannot be physically present.
You can also create a general power of attorney giving an agent broad authority to take action on your behalf in any situation. A general power of attorney can expire when you become incapacitated, which is when you need the power of attorney to be in effect the most. A durable power of attorney, on the other hand, will remain incapacitated and your agent can take over the management of your affairs in the event that you become unable to communicate or make decisions.
There are many important reasons why you should create a durable power of attorney. Naming someone as your agent and creating a legally valid durable power of attorney is important because:
- A durable power of attorney allows you to maintain control even when you no longer can actually act on your own behalf. You get to name a person who you trust to act as your agent or your attorney in fact. This ensures that when you can no longer make your own decisions, you have a person making choices who you would want to act for you.
- A durable power of attorney allows your family to avoid guardianship proceedings. If you do not have a durable power of attorney in place and you become badly sick or injured, someone is going to need to take control over your affairs. Your loved ones will need to go to court, have you declared incapacitated and made a ward, and have a guardian named. This process of going to court and going through this process is stressful at a time that is already difficult because your family is dealing with your illness or injury.
- A durable power of attorney allows you to avoid having someone who you wouldn’t have selected being named as your guardian. When you are declared a ward as a result of incapacity, the court gets to decide who is going to be your guardian. This may be someone you would not have chosen, or someone that the majority of your family would not have selected to manage your affairs.
- You can ensure that your assets can be managed more seamlessly. The process of having a guardian named takes time. During this time, your assets could be unmanaged or poorly managed. This could cause financial loss to occur.
These are a few of many key reasons why you need to create a durable power of attorney. You should have a durable power of attorney in place well before anything happens to you so there is no unexpected problem in the future regarding who will take control over managing your affairs.
How an Essex Junction Estate Planning Lawyer Can Help
When you begin to plan for your future, you need to ensure you follow all appropriate steps to create a legally valid durable power of attorney. The Essex Junction estate planning attorneys at Unsworth Law know the rules for creating a power of attorney and can provide you with guidance and assistance in getting this legal document into effect.
We can also assist you with using other legal tools to create a comprehensive estate plan to protect yourself, your loved ones, and your legacy. To learn more, join us for a free seminar or contact us to get personalized advice that is tailored to your situation. You can give us a call at (802) 879-7133 or contact us online today so we can get started on protecting your future.