The Power Behind a Power of Attorney

The Power Behind a Power of Attorney


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For those who may be contemplating some sort of after life or what happens to a person after passing, the first thing that comes to mind is not always managing their assets. Unfortunately, once they do realize what makes estate planning so important, it may already be too late. Not only is this important for the individual to designate the fate of their personal property, but it should also be done for the sake of their family.

According to Business Insider, the three most important documents for any adult to have completed are a will, a living will, as well as a power of attorney. Wills are pretty straight forward documents, acting as a written legal designation of where an agent wants their assets to go and exactly how they will be dispersed. Power of attorney on the other hand, involves the agent granting the power to make decisions on their behalf once they’ve passed or if they become incapacitated and are unable to make sound decisions.

There are a number of repercussions that can present themselves without these documents in place. The top three most common reasons that clients choose to engage in estate planning are to avoid probate, amounting to about 59% of clients, to minimize any discord among beneficiaries, about 57%, and 39% wish to protect their children from mismanaging their inheritances.

Without a will or or other estate documents in place, a probate would be started where a court and an attorney, not appointed by the family, will be the deciding factor in managing the disbursement of the assets. Family members will be forced to attend these hearings which can take months to resolve. To make matters even worse, probates entail court and attorney fees which will be taken directly out of the leftover assets.

Even though these documents may make elder law sound complex, they can actually be relatively simple with help. An estate planning attorney can draft a bare-bones “simple will” for less than $100 and in a matter of minutes. If they find a trustworthy attorney, or have a family member that they trust, a power of attorney can alleviate even more of the stress of these situations by knowing that your assets will be in good hands regardless of what happens.


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