A Power of Attorney is a legal device that is used to give someone the power to act on your behalf if you are unable to. For example, if you have Alzheimer’s disease, there is a possibility that you will get to the point where it is no longer possible for you to make decisions. If a Power of Attorney is in place, this hand-selected person would step in for you. Without a Power of Attorney in place, the courts will decide whom that person will be through a very messy and costly process known as a Guardianship. That’s why it’s important to have a Power of Attorney in place before something happens so there is never a need to involve the courts.
As far as specifics, a Power of Attorney goes into effect the moment you sign it, and the Power of Attorney will expire when you decide it will.
When you talk to your estate planning lawyer in Plano, he or she will give you the options for termination. One option is to stipulate a certain termination date. For example, military personnel may choose to set up a Power of Attorney only for the period that they are deployed.
Every Power of Attorney terminates upon the death of the person who made it. This means that the person that you selected as your Power of Attorney would not be able to handle any financial matters on your behalf when you pass away. If you want to select the person that handles your affairs after you pass, you’ll need to name them the executor of your estate.
You can also cancel or revoke a Power of Attorney at any time that you choose to. You can do so by destroying the original document and preparing a new one, or by preparing a revocation document that informs everyone involved, including those that the agent may have given a copy of the Power of Attorney to, that the Power of Attorney is no longer valid.
Giving someone control over your financial matters should be well thought out. It’s best to speak to an experienced estate planning attorney in Plano who can fully explain your options and help you select the one that works best for you.
If you would like to learn more about setting up a Power of Attorney, give our Plano estate planning law firm a call at (214) 292-4225.