Clarify Your Decisions Regarding Life Care And Finances

After your will, the next most important estate planning documents are effective powers of attorney.

A power of attorney allows you to name another person, known as an attorney-in-fact or agent, to make decisions on your behalf in the event you are physically or mentally incapacitated. A power of attorney can address financial decisions or health care decisions.

General Durable Power Of Attorney (Financial)

A general durable power of attorney allows another person to:

  • Manage your financial affairs
  • Pay bills and taxes and make gifts
  • Collect income, Social Security payments, or retirement benefits
  • Buy or sell real and personal property
  • Continue running your business
  • Initiate or resolve legal disputes

Durable Power Of Attorney For Health Care

A durable power of attorney for health care allows a designated person to:

  • Make emergency and nonemergency medical decisions
  • Manage other health issues
  • Make advance care decisions

You can define the terms of your power of attorney to include any or all of these powers.

The attorney-in-fact can be anyone who is not a minor and who is legally able to enter into a contract — a friend, relative, or associate. The most important requirement is that the attorney-in-fact knows you and knows what your wishes are likely to be.

Why Powers Of Attorney Are Critical

The preparation of a power of attorney is not a complex or expensive undertaking, and is therefore preferred to the alternative of seeking guardianships or conservatorships following incapacity – each of which involves court oversight. Without a valid power of attorney, critical financial and medical decisions may be left unmade.

Contact Stark Reagan PC in Troy, Michigan, at 248-641-9955 or by email.