When you are perfectly capable of handling your own affairs, you may want to use a power of attorney to allow someone to act on your behalf in a legally binding manner for one reason or another.
There are general powers of attorney, and limited powers of attorney. With a general power of attorney, you give someone the power to act on your behalf in a sweeping manner. The agent or attorney-in-fact that you choose could essentially do anything that you could do for yourself.
With a limited power of attorney, you give the agent limited power to act on your behalf. You could limit the power to a single transaction if you want to do so. The limits that you impose are entirely up to you.
There is a certain type of power of attorney that is used for incapacity planning purposes. This legal device is called a durable power of attorney. A durable power of attorney is used because it would remain in effect even if you were to become incapacitated.
A durable power of attorney is very important to prevent a guardianship proceeding. A significant percentage of people become incapacitated late in their lives. There are other causes of incapacity, but Alzheimer’s disease impacts up to 45 percent of people who are at least 85 years of age.
If you do not prepare for possible incapacity, the state could be petitioned to appoint a guardian to act on your behalf if you were to become incapacitated. The choice of a representative would be out of your hands at that point.
You can prevent a guardianship through the creation of a durable financial power of attorney. The agent that you name in the document would be empowered to handle your financial affairs in the event of your incapacitation.
Your incapacity plan can also include a health care proxy. With this document you name a representative to make medical decisions on your behalf should you become incapacitated at some point in time.
When you have these documents in place, your own hand-picked decision-makers will be in place to act on your behalf if it was to become necessary.
People are living longer and longer lives, and when you consider the widespread nature of Alzheimer’s disease, incapacity planning is a must for all responsible adults.
Incapacity Planning Consultation
If you are ready to execute your durable powers of attorney, our firm can help. We offer free consultations, and you can request an appointment through this website.
Send us a message through this link if you would like to set up an appointment: Smithtown NY Incapacity Planning.