A power of attorney in Long Island, New York is a legal device that is used to empower an agent or attorney-in-fact to act in a legally binding manner on your behalf. There are different types of powers of attorney.
General Power of Attorney
One type of power of attorney is a general power of attorney. With this type of POA you are giving the attorney-in-fact the ability to act on your behalf under virtually all circumstances.
Clearly, giving this type of power to someone else is a very big step. However, it may be necessary if you have responsibilities that require you to be in two places at the same time.
A health issue can also necessitate the execution of a general power of attorney.
Limited Power of Attorney
The name of the device tells you a great deal about the purpose. With a limited power of attorney you are giving someone the ability to act on your behalf on a limited basis.
For example, you could give someone the power to sign real estate documents on your behalf because you are buying a house and you are unable to attend the closing in person.
Estate Planning & Powers of Attorney
Estate planning attorneys assist people who are arranging for asset transfers after they die. However, this is not the only consideration. If you want to be comprehensively prepared, you should plan ahead for the twilight years that will precede your passing.
A very significant percentage of people who have reached an advanced age become incapacitated and unable to handle all of their own affairs.
Around 45 percent of people who are at least 85 are suffering from Alzheimer’s disease according to the Alzheimer’s Association. One of out of every eight people who are at least 65 have Alzheimer’s.
Alzheimer’s can strip you of your ability to handle your own affairs.
Of course, Alzheimer’s disease is not the only cause of incapacity among our nation’s elders.
If you don’t do anything to prepare for the possibility of incapacity late in your life, the state could ultimately be forced to appoint a guardian to act on your behalf.
To avoid guardianship proceedings you can name your own potential decision-maker through the execution of a power of attorney called a durable power of attorney.
With a durable power of attorney you name an agent who will be able to handle your affairs in the event of your incapacitation. Because the device is designated as durable, it remains in effect if you become incapacitated.
If you would like to discuss incapacity planning and powers of attorney with a licensed estate planning lawyer, we invite you to contact our firm to schedule a free consultation. It is important to prepare for the eventualities of aging, and you will go forward with a certain peace of mind if you plan ahead for this contingency that you may face late in your life.