Personal Planning Documents: Powers of Attorney
While people recognize the importance of estate planning many fail to consider the importance of personal planning documents that are in effect during their lifetime. A power of attorney is a document that appoints a person, called an attorney, to make financial and legal decisions on your behalf. The attorney must be 19 years old and trustworthy, as they have significant power. A person may also appoint multiple people to act as their attorney either unanimously or separately.
There are three different types of power of attorney:
- a general power of attorney which is effective while you are still mentally capable but ends automatically if you become mentally incapable;
- a springing power of attorney which is not effective while you have mental capacity but “springs” into effect once you are no longer mentally capable; and
- an enduring power of attorney which is effective while you are both mentally capable and not mentally capable.
To determine if you need a Power of Attorney make an appointment to speak with a lawyer about your situation.