When you are planning your estate, one of the tools you want in your arsenal is a power of attorney. However, while most people have heard of a durable power of attorney, they do not realize there are actually multiple kinds. A lawyer, like an estate planning lawyer from Patterson Bray, wants to make sure that when you are creating an estate plan, you are getting everything out of it you need. This is why it is important to create an estate plan with a trusted attorney by your side. For more information on how a lawyer can help you with your estate planning needs and to learn more about a power of attorney, give a law firm a call.
What does a power of attorney do?
First things first: you want to know what a power of attorney does. When you are in a situation where you can no longer make decisions for yourself (for example, if you were in a severe car accident and could not mentally or physically make decisions) regarding your financial and personal matters, you would want to ensure that someone you trust is ready to make these decisions for you. Thus, you would appoint a power of attorney. But, what kind?
- General. A general power of attorney gives the person you appoint the right to make decisions that you would make for yourself, such as paying your debts and bills, signing important documents, and conducting any other typical financial transactions you would make on a regular basis. In fact, you do not need to be incapacitated to use a general power of attorney. You can use them while you are not incapacitated to help you with your financial matters. This ends when you either are incapacitated or pass away.
- Limited. For a certain purpose, a limited power of attorney allows another person to make decisions on your behalf. If you are not in the country or are otherwise unable to sign a document or make a financial decision on a certain day, you can give someone else a limited power of attorney that will end on a specific date. This allows someone to temporarily make decisions while you cannot with an end-date in sight.
- Durable. This is the one that most people have heard of, though many still do not understand what it is they do. A durable power of attorney is what you want when you are incapacitated and cannot make decisions for yourself anymore. If you pass away, a durable power of attorney is no longer in effect.
If you need more information on what kind of power of attorney you should appoint in your estate plan, please contact an estate planning law firm today.