In today’s post, we’re shining a spotlight on an estate planning tool everyone should know about: the power of attorney. Have you ever thought about what might happen if for some reason you are ever unable to make your own decisions regarding your affairs? What if you could not express your wishes about your finances or your healthcare? If this thought concerns you, setting up a power of attorney might be a good idea.
A power of attorney is a document through which you can authorize someone you trust to act on your behalf regarding your affairs. There are healthcare powers of attorney, financial powers of attorney, and general powers of attorney, which cover both. If you want to pick and choose which specific authority you grant with your power of attorney, you can create a limited power of attorney.
Power of Attorney Lingo
Some of the phraseology surrounding powers of attorney can be a little confusing, so we’ll break it down. The person who creates the power of attorney is called the “principal.” The person who the principal is granting certain authorities to through the power of attorney is called the “agent” or the “attorney-in-fact.”
What about durability?
You may have heard the phrase “durable power of attorney” before. If a power of attorney is NOT durable, it becomes ineffective if you become mentally incapacitated. That means if you want your power of attorney to be utilized if you’re in a coma or have dementia, it will need to be durable.
Do durable powers of attorney last forever?
Not necessarily, although they will if not intentionally prevented from doing so. You can create an expiration date for your power of attorney or you can revoke it at any time.
I want to create a power of attorney. Who can help?
At The Law Offices of Mackenzie Sorich, PLLC, we have extensive experience helping our clients create effective estate plans, including powers of attorney. We are committed to helping our clients that won’t only protect their assets and express their wishes for after they die, but will also express their wishes for what should happen if they ever suffer major injury or illness. Having a power of attorney is a great way to ensure that someone you choose and trust will be at the wheel if anything happens to you. We can also help you create living wills and DNR orders. If you have any questions about these matters or if you’re ready to sit down with us to create a plan, please give us a call at (206) 336-9195. We can’t wait to hear from you!