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Power Of Attorney: Planning For Your Own Incapacity

A will addresses what happens if you die. Power of attorney applies if you become incapacitated while you are still living, authorizing someone to step in to manage your financial affairs. These important legal documents should not be overlooked or taken lightly.

The knowledgeable attorneys of Corliss Law Group can help you customize powers of attorney to your situation and your preferences, in conjunction with your will and other estate planning measures.

Understanding Powers Of Attorney (POA)

Power of attorney is a legal document that designates someone to act as your legal agent if you become incapacitated by accident, illness or mental decline. Powers of attorney (POA) can be as expansive or as limited as you wish. For example, the person might be empowered to simply pay your bills and get your income taxes filed. Or you might grant them full control over your investments and business holdings, including the power to conduct legal transactions and enter contracts on your behalf.

Typically, powers of attorney “spring” from an official finding by a court or physician that the person is incapacitated. Most commonly, they are constructed as durable powers of attorney, meaning that once invoked they continue until the person’s health recovers or they pass away.

Deciding Who Should Be The Decider

Who do you choose when granting power of attorney? It should be someone you trust to act in your best interests but also someone who is up to the task of managing your affairs. That might be a spouse, a sibling, an adult child or a family friend. We can help you choose your agent and put parameters on when your POA is invoked and what specific powers they would be granted.

In conjunction with financial powers of attorney, we recommend clients create a living will and health care proxy to address medical matters in the event of incapacity.

Customize Your Powers Of Attorney

Estate planning and elder law are all we do. Our lawyers can anticipate and account for specific scenarios that might be missed with a do-it-yourself POA. We serve clients in Westchester County, Putnam County, Dutchess County and Manhattan. Call 914-712-6404 to arrange a meet-and-greet or email us here.