Power of attorney forms are one of the most critical aspects of estate planning for almost anyone. Unlike a will, POA forms don’t govern how your assets are treated after you are gone. Instead, they govern how you and your assets might be treated while you are still alive. We’ve provided a brief look at three common questions about power of attorney below.
When should you create power of attorney forms? Many people put off creating POA forms because it doesn’t seem like an urgent task, but the right time for these types of estate plans is usually sooner rather than later. The entire purpose of POA forms is to protect you and your interests should something happen to you, and you don’t always know when that might be. Yes, POA forms are important as you age and health concerns become more prevalent. However, they also become relevant if you are injured and incapacitated in an accident.
Does my power of attorney have access to all my finances? Your power of attorney usually has access to only the information you set out in your POA documents. That means you can arrange for someone to handle your primary checking account and pay your bills, but limit them from managing your investment accounts. How you set up your POA depends on your goals and needs, so talk with your estate law professional about how best to meet those needs.
Can my power of attorney decide if I live or die? Some people might be concerned that a healthcare power of attorney means another person can choose what life support you are provided with. While you can create a POA to allow someone to talk to medical professionals and make some decisions on your behalf if needed, you can also record your own wishes in a living will that medical providers will follow regarding life-sustaining support.
If you need the dedicated legal representation for wills, trusts, and estate matters in California, contact the Law Offices of Yacoba Ann Feldman to schedule a consultation.