Written By: Larry Miller, Jr. | April 13, 2017 | No Comments
Should a General Power of Attorney (POA) Be Part of My Estate Plan?
If someone is incapacitated due to old age, illness, or injuries sustained in an accident, he or she may not be able to make important decisions regarding their estate. To protect your estate, you should seriously consider having someone serve as your power of attorney, or POA.
What Is a Power of Attorney?
A POA is simply a document that gives a person the authority to act for another. The person designated with POA has the right to
- make contracts;
- sign legal papers; and
- manage your financial affairs should you ever become incapacitated.
Your POA will not be able to
- change your will ;
- make a new will; or
- designate another POA for you.
To be valid, the POA document must be signed when you are mentally competent. Otherwise, someone could challenge not only your POA but also your entire estate plan.
Who Makes a Good Candidate for a Power of Attorney?
The person you designate for POA authority does not have to be a practicing lawyer. But a Power of Attorney needs to have some essential characteristics including
- experience managing money;
- the ability to protect you as well as your estate
- willingness to commit to managing your assets for several years;
- have the time to handle matters such as paying your bills and dealing with accountants and attorneys; and
- the ability to communicate with those who are taking care of you while you are incapacitated.
Talk to a Lawyer for Power of Attorney Help
You should speak with our Estate Planning Attorneys before making your final decision to grant POA authority to someone. Our attorneys can help you determine whether you would be better off issuing a
- “Springing” POA (which goes into effect only under conditions that you specify), or
- “Immediate” POA (it becomes effective immediately upon you signing the document, and your POA will not need to prove you are incapacitated to act on your behalf).
The POA document has a required warning page that you must read and sign. There’s a page for the person giving the power of attorney and an acknowledgment page for the person receiving a power of attorney. This decision is not one to take lightly.
There is even the possibility that you could give POA to more than one person. Our Estate Planning Attorneys can help you decide if designating multiple POAs is in your best interests.
You Won’t Find Better Attorneys in Reading or Berks County to Help You With Setting Up a Power of Attorney
We have 40 years’ experience helping people in Berks County around Reading, PA set up Powers of Attorney. Contact Us Online or Call Us at 610-670-9000 today.
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