Each year many individuals become either permanently or temporarily incapacitated making them unable to handle their financial affairs. A General Durable Power of Attorney is a document where a person (called the Principal) can appoint another trusted person (called the Agent) to act on their behalf in handling their financial affairs. It is called durable because, unlike traditional Powers of Attorney, the document continues to be effective when the Principal becomes incapacitated.
Why You Need a General Durable Power of Attorney Now
- With a General Durable Power of Attorney, you (and not a Court) decide who will handle your financial affairs if you become incapacitated. Without a General Durable Power of Attorney, if you become incapacitated your loved ones will not be able to handle your financial affairs on your behalf but, instead, will have to petition the court to have a Guardian appointed to do so. Such a proceeding is both costly and time consuming and you lose control of who get appointed to act on your behalf.
- With a General Durable Power of Attorney, you can decide how broad the powers granted to your agent will be. Some of the powers granted may include the power to pay your bills, sell some or all of your assets, managing your assets, gifting and Medicaid planning, applying for government benefits on your behalf and preparing your tax returns. While some of these powers may alarm you, it is important to recognize that many of these powers may well preserve your hard earned assets against government liens. It is also important to keep in mind that the broader the powers granted, the less chance of a Guardianship becoming necessary.
Important for PA Residents: Pennsylvania has amended it’s POA law. Be sure your Powers of Attorney are compliant. Read more…
If you wonder whether you need a General Durable Power of Attorney, want to update an existing General Durable Power of Attorney or have other legal needs/questions, call Michael to set up your no obligation consultation today.