A durable general power of attorney will help your financial and health care affairs run smoothly ... even when you cannot manage them yourself.
They say in life the only thing you can expect is the unexpected.
This is why advanced planning is so important.
Especially when it comes to estate planning, according to an article in The Villager titled “Power of attorney protects loved ones.”
When you hear estate planning, perhaps you think only of a will.
Estate planning involves so much more than distributing an inheritance.
Every estate plan should include a power of attorney (POA).
Let me be blunt.
You never know if or when an accident or illness could take away your mental capacity.
I have seen it happen.
If you do not have a legal durable power of attorney for medical decisions and one for financial decisions, then your family will be powerless to act just when you need their help most.
In fact, a lengthy and costly court process would ensue for them to be able to step up and help.
Under such circumstances, the person given the authority will be designated by the court—not by you.
This could be very bad.
What durable power of attorney might you need?
It depends on your situation.
A power of attorney can be "springing" and take effect only when your incapacity is actually proven, or it can be current and take effect when you sign it. Also, the power given can be "general" over broad matters, or it can be "special" and limited to specific matters.
How long do you want the power to last? Indefinitely or for a limited time period? Do you want the power to continue even after you are incapacitated?
Although in many ways, a power of attorney are straightforward, you will want an experienced estate planning attorney to create it with you to be sure all the nuances of the document accomplish your desired goal.
So, how do you find an "experienced" estate planning attorney?
First, ask around. Friends, family and other professional advisors are trustworthy sources.
Second, conduct an "organic" search on "Google" for "estate planning" near you (e.g., "Estate Planning Anytown MoKan").
Third, either way, verify! Check out the education, experience, ratings and client reviews of any attorney before you contact him or her.
In fact, I use both of these services to thoroughly vett attorneys before referring members of our "client" family for legal help in other areas of law or for matters in jurisdictions outside Kansas or Missouri.
Remember: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” When making your financial, tax and estate plans, do not go it alone. Be sure to engage competent professional counsel.
For more information about estate planning in Overland Park, KS (and throughout the rest of Kansas and Missouri), visit our estate planning website and be sure to subscribe to our complimentary estate planning e-newsletter while you are there.
Reference: The Villager (December 14, 2016) “Power of attorney protects loved ones”