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Three reasons to put a power of attorney in place

Originally posted on 11/08/2016

A legal document with the title power of attorney rests on an office desk with a legal pad and a business pen on top.While no one wants to think of the unfortunate possibility of being incapacitated or of a time when we can't handle our own affairs, this circumstance is a real possibility. If something happens and this becomes a reality, having someone designated to make important decisions for you is a necessity.

Here are three good reasons to set up a power of attorney (POA) for yourself or a loved one:

1. Make handling financial transactions easier

The POA will be a trusted person you designated to handle your finances if you can't. The POA will be able to pay bills, access your accounts, sell assets, if necessary. This designation and document allows your affairs to be handled, which helps your family complete transactions and meet deadlines for things such as bills.

2. Reduce arguments among family members

Making an important decision like who will act as power of attorney for someone can alleviate problems later. Family members will know who has the final say in matters.

3. See healthcare wishes carried out

The last thing you want in the event that you can't speak for yourself or are unconscious is for people to not know your wishes about health and quality of life. A POA can make decisions to align with your wishes about healthcare and your finances.

Important Documents involved in Power of Attorney Estate Planning

While there are multiple documents involved in estate planning, two of the important power of attorney documents can provide a good start for you and your loved ones.

  • A financial POA can allow a designated person access to your accounts and pay bills on your behalf.
  • A healthcare POA can make it clear who is in charge of medical decisions, such as do not resuscitate orders (DNR) or how long a person should be kept on life support. Having this spelled out in a healthcare directive also avoids confusion and guilt caregivers may feel because they will already know what your wishes are.

Partner with an Experienced Estate Planning Attorney

Setting up a power of attorney can give you peace of mind. This can also be a gift you give your loved ones because they won't have to deal with extra obstacles while acting on your behalf. Do you have a power of attorney in place? Who would you trust to carry out your wishes? Give the legal team at Aldrich Legal Services a call today to address your power of attorney and estate planning concerns.

MICHIGAN PROBATE 57: Brother granted permanent guardianship of siblings.

At a multiday hearing to address the extension of the guardianship, the eldest children, the mother’s relatives and friends, and school personnel testified regarding the mother’s care of the children, appellant’s treatment of and interaction with the children, and the eldest siblings’ role in aiding the mother to raise the children.

FAMILY LAW 88: The trial court found that the children did not have an established custodial environment with defendant because, before the separation, he did not have a large role in the children’s lives.

The trial court credited plaintiff’s testimony that, before the parties’ separation, defendant spent minimal time helping to care for the children, so its finding that the children would not have looked to defendant for guidance, discipline, the necessities of life, and parental comfort during that time was not against the great weight of the evidence.

REAL ESTATE 89: RM had not included any language in the deed providing that the property was a joint tenancy with full rights of survivorship, the property instead became a tenancy in common.

RM drafted the deed without seeking counsel and mistakenly believed that, if either she or FK died, the property would fully pass to the surviving tenant. FK’s will provided that if his wife predeceased him—which she did—the personal representative of his estate should sell any residual property that he owned and divide the cash proceeds equally among his surviving children.

FAMILY LAW 83: A trial court can terminate a parent’s rights and permit a stepparent to adopt a child.

A trial court has discretion to terminate a parent’s rights and permit a stepparent to adopt a child when the conditions of MCL 710.51(6) are met. MCL 710.51(6)(b) requires the petitioner to establish that the other parent had the ability to visit, contact, or communicate with the children, and substantially failed or neglected to do so for a period of two years.

PROBATE 53: The trust agreement included an Incontestability Provision.

A settlor’s intent is to be carried out as nearly as possible. Generally, in terrorem clauses are valid and enforceable. However, a provision in a trust that purports to penalize an interested person for contesting the trust or instituting another proceeding relating to the trust shall not be given effect if probable cause exists for instituting a proceeding contesting the trust or another proceeding relating to the trust.

FAMILY LAW 82: Court stated it would terminate the personal protection order (PPO) after the parties present documentation of the initiation of the divorce proceedings.

However, the trial court concluded that these matters should, in fact, be in the province and the jurisdiction of the Family Division and in that respect, having issued a personal protection order, the Court stated it would terminate the personal protection order after the parties present documentation of the initiation of the divorce proceedings.

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