Powers of Attorney

Powers of attorney are an essential piece in any estate plan. A power of attorney allows you to choose an agent to make financial or healthcare decisions if you are unable to do so.

These are not just important for the elderly. While we certainly hope it will never be the case for us, there is always a chance of injury or illness that may render us unable to pay our bills, run a business, or even decide whether we should have an operation. If we have not made powers of attorney ahead of time, the probate court will likely need to appoint a guardian to make these decisions. This could result in relatives fighting over who should be the guardian or even a stranger being appointed to make these incredibly important decisions.

There are two types of powers of attorney: healthcare and financial, sometimes also referred to as a durable power of attorney. These documents name your chosen agent(s) to make decisions for you and list the powers you have decided to grant them, based on your personal preferences and needs. For example, would you want your agent to be able to make gifts on your behalf? If the answer is yes, how much would you want them to give away each year? These are very important decisions for you, your loved ones, and your estate.