Estate planning provides a way to prepare for the future, and to mitigate uncertainty. And certainly, there is much in life that is uncertain. None of us know what tomorrow will bring; an unexpected illness, injury, or accident could completely change the direction of our lives.
Through estate planning, you can prepare even for this kind of catastrophe. Specifically, a document known as the financial power of attorney allows you some level of control over your destiny, even if you are rendered medically incapacitated.
But what is a financial power of attorney? And at what point do you need to call a power of attorney lawyer?
Understanding the Financial Power of Attorney
We’ll start by defining our term: What is a durable power of attorney, specifically a financial power of attorney?
Essentially, this is an estate planning document in which you can name someone to serve as your legal representative. In the event that you fall into a coma or are otherwise medically unresponsive, your durable power of attorney will go into effect, allowing your named representative to make important business or financial decisions on your behalf. Should you regain consciousness, the power of attorney will immediately go out of effect.
What Can You Do with a Financial Power of Attorney?
With a financial power of attorney, you can invest your representative with a wide range of legal powers and privileges. Your power of attorney lawyer can go into specifics, but a few examples of what your legal representative can do include:
- File your taxes for you
- Sell a business that you own
- Complete a real estate transaction on your behalf
- Pay off debts and obligations on your behalf
These are just a few examples of the responsibilities you can give to your legal appointee, all through a financial power of attorney.
What About a Medical Power of Attorney?
It’s worth noting that there are actually a couple of options for your power of attorney. In addition to a financial power of attorney, you can also have a medical power of attorney.
A medical power of attorney works in much the same way as a financial power of attorney. The difference is that, instead of bestowing financial powers upon your representative, you instead authorize them to make decisions about the medical care you receive, for as long as you are incapacitated.
How About Health Care Directives?
A common question: How does a medical power of attorney differ from a health care directive?
Basically, a health care directive is an estate planning document that lets you specify your wishes for life support services, e.g., when you wish breathing machines and feeding tubes to be used, when you want them removed, etc.
You may choose to have a health care directive and a power of attorney in place, including a financial power of attorney and/or a medical power of attorney. It all depends on your specific estate planning concerns and goals. A directive power of attorney lawyer can advise you further.
Speak with a Directive Power of Attorney Lawyer Today
The bottom line: A financial power of attorney is just one of several estate planning documents that can help you prepare for an uncertain future. A good way to learn more about your options is to speak with a living trust and will attorney.
To find out more about using a power of attorney in Fremont, CA, we invite you to contact Singh Law Firm. Contact us at your next opportunity and we will be happy to schedule you for a one-on-one consultation with one of our lawyers.