The process of estate planning should ideally be a broad and comprehensive one. Recording your wishes regarding the distribution of your assets is only part of what you should take into consideration. You should also address the postmortem aspect.
On the other side of the coin, you should address the period of time that would logically precede your death. This can include the execution of a power of attorney to appoint someone to act on your behalf in the event of your incapacitation.
Power of Attorney Kew Gardens NY
DIFFERENT TYPES OF POWERS OF ATTORNEY
There are different types of powers of attorney. These legal devices are used in all different areas of the law. One type of power of attorney is a general power of attorney.
With a general power of attorney you are giving the agent or attorney-in-fact that you choose the power to act in a sweeping, comprehensive manner. There are no particular limitations. The agent could do anything that you can do for yourself.
Another type of power of attorney is a limited power of attorney. With this type of power of attorney you give someone the ability to act on your behalf under limited circumstances.
For example, let’s say that you own a real estate investment company. You could empower your assistant to sign certain types of business documents on your behalf. His or her ability to act on your behalf would be limited by the precise terms of the document.
DURABLE POWER OF ATTORNEY
Whether it is limited or general, a standard power of attorney that is not designated as durable would no longer be in effect if the grantor was to become incapacitated. If you want to appoint someone to act on your behalf in the event of your incapacity, you should execute a durable power of attorney.
If you don’t execute a durable power of attorney naming your own hand-picked decision-maker, a guardian could be appointed by the state to act on your behalf if you become incapacitated.
A guardianship proceeding can be lengthy, and the need for immediate decision-making may exist. In addition, the guardian that is chosen by the court may not be someone that you would have chosen. And, members of your family may not agree with regard to the optimal course of action. They could clash in court, delaying things even further as hard feelings start to develop.
You can prevent all of these negative consequences if you take the time to execute a durable power of attorney naming your own hand-picked decision-maker. Hopefully you will never become incapacitated, but if you do find it difficult to handle your own affairs late in your life you will have an effective plan in place.