Many people assume that once they create their will, they are done with the estate planning process. This is far from true, as there are a number of important documents to create in order to have a complete estate plan. One of the most important documents you can create is a power of attorney. Read on to learn more.

What is a power of attorney?

A power attorney gives a loved one the ability to make important decisions on your behalf in the event that you can no longer make these decisions for yourself, for example, in the event of incapacitation. This responsibility is usually given to a close friend or family member. This individual will be able to make decisions about your finances, healthcare, and other important aspects of your life.

What can an attorney-in-fact do?

The person you name in your power of attorney is known as an attorney-in-fact. This individual may be able to do the following on your behalf:

  • Pay bills
  • Buy and sell property
  • Making bank deposits, withdrawals, and other transactions
  • Employ caretakers for either in-home care or otherwise
  • Deal with Social Security issues
  • Transfer assets to a trust
  • File tax returns
  • Obtain medical records
  • File medical claims

Different types of powers of attorney

It is important to note that an attorney-in-fact does not have unlimited power. Instead, you can assign certain tasks and when these tasks should be completed. Some of the most common types of powers of attorney include:

  • Immediate power of attorney: the power of attorney goes into effect as soon as the document has been executed
  • Springing power of attorney: the power of attorney goes into effect only when a specific event occurs, such as becoming incapacitated, etc.
  • Durable power of attorney: the document remains in effect when you become incapacitated and remains in effect over time
  • Non-Durable power of attorney: the power of attorney is terminated in the event you become incapacitated or disabled

If you have any questions or concerns about creating a power of attorney, our firm is here to help. Reach out today to discuss your options with an experienced estate planning attorney.

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Sometimes, divorce, family, and estate matters are difficult to navigate. Fortunately, they do not have to be with the assistance of a compassionate, knowledgeable attorney who is willing to guide you every step of the way. If you need a seasoned firm to help you with any divorce, family or estate-related matter, please do not hesitate to contact Collis, Griffor & Hendra today to schedule a consultation.

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