Powers of Attorney
recommend that each one of our clients should have a durable
power of attorney.
A power of
attorney is a document by which a person authorizes another
person to act as agent or “attorney-in-fact” for him or her in
banking and business transactions during his or her lifetime.
A “durable” power of attorney continues to be effective if the
maker later becomes incapacitated; a non-durable power of
attorney would become null and void upon the maker’s incapacity,
however, any power of attorney, both durable or non-durable,
will become null and void upon the maker’s death.
If a person does
become physically or mentally incapacitated, and he or she has
not made a valid power of attorney, it is often necessary to
apply to the courts to have a guardian (formerly called a
“conservator”) appointed to manage his or her affairs. This can
be a complicated, time consuming and expensive process involving
court hearings, court appointed lawyers, evaluators and the
involvement of medical professionals. With a valid power of
attorney in place, there would be no need for a court appointed
guardian, and the client, not a judge, gets to decide who will
act for him or her when the need arises.
A power of
attorney, however, does not cover medical care and treatment
decisions. This requires a separate document known as a living
will coupled with a health care proxy.
Our office has
prepared hundreds of powers of attorney for our clients, many of
whom ask us to safekeep their powers of attorneys at our office,
which we do at no charge, to be released by us to the client
upon the client’s request, or when we are assured that the facts
warrant its release and use.
Call us for a no
cost appointment to review and discuss your situation. We’ll
give you honest, individualized and straightforward advice about
how you can achieve your objectives, and answer any questions
you may have.