Powers of Attorney and How to Utilize Them In Your Estate Plan

Powers of Attorney and How to Utilize Them In Your Estate Plan

Every estate plan comes with a variety of documents to outline your wishes after you die, but it’s still important to make a plan to protect your assets and best interests during your lifetime. Whether you find yourself incapacitated temporarily from a medical procedure, or in need of elder care later in life, you may need to designate one or more powers of attorney. 

What Exactly Can a Power of Attorney Do?

A power of attorney (POA) is a legal document that grants authority to another person (attorney-in-fact) to act on behalf of the person who created the POA (principal). The attorney-in-fact has the power to make decisions, sign documents, and perform other actions as if they were the principal. The authority granted in a POA can be limited to specific tasks or can be broad in scope, depending on the terms of the document, and should be given to a trusted individual who has your best interests in mind. A POA should outline exact instructions for how to act on your behalf but doesn’t have to cover every aspect of your life and responsibilities.

Types of Power of Attorney:

There are several types of POA, and although not all are required for an estate plan, some individuals like to designate different types to different people within their life. For example, if you have two adult children, and one is a doctor, while the other is a financial advisor, you may want to split specific responsibilities between them. The following are common types of POA:

General Power of Attorney: The attorney-in-fact is granted the power to handle a wide range of tasks on behalf of the principal, from managing daily responsibilities to fiduciary obligations.

Healthcare Power of Attorney: This grants the authority to make healthcare decisions on behalf of the principal. Usually, the document will outline specific personal values for specific procedures or contingencies, but you may also leave this up to the attorney-in-fact.

Limited Power of Attorney: Just like it sounds, this type of POA grants limited authority to perform specific tasks. This is ideal for those who may be leaving for long periods of time or are recovering from a medical procedure and need to leave specific responsibilities to someone else

Durable Power of Attorney: This type is similar to a general power of attorney, but remains in effect even if the principal becomes incapacitated.

Springing Power of Attorney: This type of POA only becomes effective when a specific event occurs, such as the principal becoming incapacitated.

One of the key reasons there are different POA types is that the POA can be revoked at any time as long as the principal has the capacity to do so. The exact parameters of the POA can be narrowed down with the help of an attorney. If you are curious about how powers of attorney can benefit or enhance your current estate plan or would like to establish an estate plan from the ground up, contact Ledwidge & Associates, P.C. by filling out a contact form or calling 718.276.6656 today.

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Powers of Attorney and How to Utilize Them In Your Estate Plan

Ledwidge & Associates

Ledwidge & Associates, P.C. in New York City has years of experience helping clients create estate plans that fit their needs. We have the experience and resources to handle your critical legal matters with the utmost care and attention to detail.
Powers of Attorney and How to Utilize Them In Your Estate Plan

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