Sunday, October 18, 2009

Powers of Attorney Important Steps of Estate Planning

Without a power of attorney when you need one could create a big problem. What is a power of attorney?
Let's look at the legal description and definition.

A power of attorney (POA) or letter of attorney in common law systems or mandate in civil law systems is an authorization to act on someone else's behalf in a legal or business matter. The person authorizing the other to act is the principal, granter or donor (of the power), and the one authorized to act is the agent, the attorney-in-fact, or in many Common Law jurisdictions, simply the attorney.

What does all of that legal mumbo jumbo mean? Let's say you had an auto accident and were in a coma, you can't make a decision for yourself, who makes those decisions for you? Who has the legal right to make a decision about your health, finances or end stages of life.

A health care power of attorney or a financial power of attorney would allow for someone you appoint to make those decisions for you. It could be your spouse if married, it could be your parents or a sibling or possibly a good friend. You decide, the power of attorney allows for someone to make those decisions for you.

There are 3 important powers of attorney called the "Guardian Trio."

1. Power of attorney for finances.
2. Power of attorney for Health care.
3. Living Will's.

Each power of attorney allows for someone "You" appoint legally to act in your behalf if you were unable to act because you were unable to.

Make sure you find a good Elder Law Attorney to execute a comprehensive power of attorney for you when it comes to your estate planning.

These are documents everyone should have.

Sumiko Watanabe is an author that writes on topics of interest.

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