The Importance Of A Power Of Attorney

Without an extensive power of attorney (POA), a lot of people are unable to handle the financial affairs of their nearest and dearest, nor make healthcare decisions without court intervention (conservatorship and guardianship). Unfortunately, it has been our experience that many people, including financial consultants, accountants and even some lawyers don’t understand what one is and why it’s essential to get one. Clients often come into our office supposing, just cause they are married or are a joint owner of resources, they are able to sell or transfer assets. In fact, a present client is unable to sell his mother’s house cause she never signed a durable power of attorney.

You will find durable powers of attorney which authorize your agent to make decisions for you concerning monetary matters and healthcare powers of attorney which permit your agent to make decisions regarding your health needs.

Yours can be broad in scope, giving your agent the ability to make any and all financial decisions for you (a General Durable POA) or you could restrict your brokers authority by specifying the kinds of financial decisions you will permit them to make (a Limited Durable POA). You can also like to give your agent the instant authority to make decisions on your own behalf (a Durable POA) or you could limit your brokers authority to act only once you become incompetent (a Springing POA).

Guardianship is a legal relationship where the court gives a person (the guardian) ability to make private decisions (medical, home, etc.) for another (the defender). A proceeding is initiated by filing a petition in the probate court. slip and fall written statement by a physician might be necessary to establish the ward’s incapacity. The court then decides whether a guardian is required due to this ward lacking the necessary mental capacity to make private decisions. Unless restricted by the court, the guardian has the same rights as parents have over their small children. The guardian is required to report annually to the court regarding the condition of the ward.

A conservator is a legal relationship whereby the probate court gives a person (the conservator) that the capacity to make financial decisions for a second. The court proceeding are similar to those of a guardianship except the court is deciding whether the person has the ability to manage his or her financial affairs. A conservator is also required to file an yearly accounting documenting (with verification) all the income and expenses incurred each year. A surety bond (an insurance policy) is frequently required by the court to safeguard against the conservator engaging in any improper use of the individual’s assets.