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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.

PROBATE 51: Trust filed a petition to determine title to credit union account.

The probate court explained that the owners of the account are S and J. When S passes, J becomes the owner of the account. J is the one who had the authority to make the designation. Nowhere in any documents is there a designation by J that SJ be the owner -- or the beneficiary of the account. The designation made by his father was no longer binding because he was no longer the owner at the time J passed away.

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