It is very important that you create a durable power of attorney in order to protect your wealth and to determine who makes decisions on your behalf when you cannot speak up to express your own preferences. Unfortunately, many people do not know how to create a durable power of attorney or do not follow the process correctly. This can be a big problem as it can leave you unprotected even when you thought that you already had an incapacity plan in place.
Unsworth LaPlante, PLLC can help you to make certain that you make a legally valid and enforceable durable power of attorney that will remain in effect when you need it and that will provide the protections that you expect. Give us a call to discover more about why a durable power of attorney needs to be a part of your incapacity plan.
What if Your Power of Attorney is Not Durable?
When you create a power of attorney (POA), the purpose is to give authority to an agent or attorney in fact who can act on your behalf. The agent has only the authority that you give him, no more and no less. If you give the agent limited authority to act for you, the designated actions are all he is allowed to do. If your POA is in effect only for a limited time, then the agent has authority only for that time period.
When you create a POA that is not durable, the law says that the default rule is the power of attorney remains in effect only until such time as you are incapacitated. Unfortunately, if you created a POA to give someone authority to make your decisions while incapacitated, this can be a big problem. You need to make sure that you clearly express that your grant of authority to the agent should remain in effect after incapacity. A power of attorney that does remain in effect in case of incapacity is called a durable power of attorney.
If you have not made your POA durable, it will stop being effective and your agent won’t have authority when you become incapacitated. It will be as if you had made no power of attorney in your incapacity plan at all and your family will need to go to court and seek guardianship proceedings.
How Can You Create a Durable Power of Attorney
The best way to make sure that you create a legally valid and enforceable durable power of attorney is to work with an experienced attorney. Unsworth LaPlante, PLLC will help you to follow legal formalities and requirements when creating your power of attorney.
As Vermont law explains, there is specific language that has to be included in your POA so it is durable and the grant of authority to your age99nt stays in effect once you have become incapacitated and cannot act on your own any more.
The specific rules for creating a durable power of attorney are found in Vermont statute section 3508. This statute specifies that you can create a POA by including the phrase: “This power of attorney shall not be affected by the subsequent disability or incapacity of the principal.” You can also create a durable POA by using similar words showing “intent of the principal that the authority given the agent is intended to be exercisable notwithstanding the subsequent disability or incapacity.”
Unsworth LaPlante, PLLC will help you to make certain that you include the correct phrasing so the authority you give to your agent will stay in effect even once something has happened to you. If you are creating a POA as a part of your incapacity plan, this is the very time when you need it to remain in effect, so it is important that you use the language to make that happen.
Getting Help from A Vermont Incapacity Planning Lawyer
Unsworth LaPlante, PLLC can provide the assistance that you need to make a durable power of attorney so you and your loved ones are protected. You can spare your family from having to go through guardianship proceedings at the time of incapacity and you can make certain that it is you, not a random judge, who is able to make the important decision of who is going to be in charge of managing your affairs when you cannot.
To find out more about planning ahead for incapacity and end-of-life issues, join us for a free seminar. You can also give us a call at (802) 879-7133 or contact us online to get personalized advice with all aspects of incapacity planning.