Did you know that having a durable power of attorney can be extremely useful for you and your loved ones? A power of attorney grants another person the legal authority to make decisions on your behalf. There may be many circumstances in which you might become unable to make financial or legal decisions on your own behalf, whether due to illness or absence. Having a power of attorney included in your estate plan allows someone you trust to do so in your place. For your parents, a power of attorney will ensure someone is able to handle their affairs should the need arise.

A durable power of attorney terminates only upon death and its validity survives incapacitation of the principal, the person who established the durable power of attorney. This means that when your parents nominate you, or another child or loved one, as durable power of attorney, someone will be able to make decisions for them if they are incapacitated, in an emergency, or simply traveling far from home during retirement. It can be important to have a durable power of attorney as well because if you do not have a durable power of attorney, no one other than a court can decide to appoint someone to manage your affairs if you become incapacitated. It may be far better for your parents to make this choice for themselves, while they can do so.

The agent of a power of attorney can do just about anything your parents, as principals, decide they want the agent to be able to do! Their agent can handle financial matters like paying the mortgage or rent and other bills, making contributions to investment or savings accounts, or even assist with selling your home or a car or other vehicle. While this may not seem very important, it can become a major help if your parents want to travel when they are retired. Their bills still need to be paid even when they aren’t home, and if their agent can take care of things, they won’t have to worry. Neither will you.

For more information about durable powers of attorney and more important estate planning tools, please reach out to our office to schedule an appointment. We do telephone, computer, and face-to-face appointments. Our face-to-face appointments are held outside in the open air (frequently selected by clients for document signing) and inside our office conference room. We follow all CDC guidelines. Our office procedures and COVID-19 safety protocols are designed and enhanced by medical review and air quality engineering and design.