Long Island Power of Attorney Lawyers Giving Clients Confidence for the Future
Also Serving: New York City
When most people think of an estate plan, they imagine creating a will that designates beneficiaries and names a guardian for their children. You may even know about trusts, which protect your assets from probate and give you more control over how your funds are distributed. But what happens if you are injured, ill, or too old to make decisions for yourself?
A power of attorney is an estate planning tool that allows you to choose a person who you trust implicitly to make critical decisions if you should become incapacitated. Depending on your needs, you could assign your power of attorney with various duties that ensure your essential matters are taken care of if you cannot make these important decisions.
What Is a Power of Attorney?
A power of attorney, or POA, is a document that gives your permission for another person to act on your behalf in specific circumstances. In a POA document, the person creating the document is known as the principal, and the POA is the agent. As the principal, you have control over how many powers you give your agent.
Please note that some powers of attorney provide more power than others. For example, a durable power of attorney can make decisions even when the principal is incapacitated. You can also design your POA so that the agent may act in a limited manner, such as making financial or medical decisions only.
What Are Some Types of Powers of Attorney?
Like many estate planning documents, the POA can be adjusted according to your unique needs and goals. It is important to understand the options available to you so you can make the best choice when it comes to your POA.
Some commonly used powers of attorney in the State of New York are:
- General power of attorney – The most powerful of all agents, this POA allows the agent to perform all functions that the principal would typically do. It becomes effective immediately and only ends when the principal dies, voids the POA, or becomes incapacitated.
- Durable power of attorney – The durable power of attorney is unique because it is the only POA that continues to exist when the principal is incapacitated. This makes it a popular choice for many people because they can know that their estate will be in good hands if they can’t make decisions for themselves due to age, injury, or illness.
- Limited power of attorney – With this POA document, the principal chooses a limited circumstance where the agent may act on their behalf. For example, a financial manager could only take specific actions for their client regarding financial decisions.
- Medical power of attorney – A medical POA is similar to a limited power of attorney in that their decisions are restricted to how the principal’s medical treatment is handled.
Who Should I Choose as My Power of Attorney?
Selecting someone as your POA can be difficult because so much depends on their faithfulness to your wishes and goals. Many people choose a family member, such as a spouse or adult child, as their POA. One way of deciding whether someone is worthy of being your POA is to ask yourself whether you hand that person your credit card or a blank check.
You could also appoint co-trustees if you aren’t comfortable assigning anyone as a single agent. However, this might complicate matters because both people must agree to get things done. Some individuals assign a single agent but request a supervisor to ensure the agent acts responsibly with the powers given to them.
If you are struggling to choose a POA, please reach out to Long Island lawyers for future estate planning who works with powers of attorney regularly. They can help you select a good POA who you can trust to manage your affairs and set up the document properly.
Should You Hire Our Power of Attorney Lawyers?
Establishing a power of attorney can be an overwhelming proposition, with many options for setting up the document. It can also be difficult to decide who should be your POA.
If having a power of attorney fits with your estate plan, please reach out to our law firm right away. We have worked extensively with powers of attorney in New York, and we can draft the perfect document for you and your family. You can rely on our knowledge and skill in creating the right estate plan for you.
Please give us a call to schedule a consultation with our compassionate, capable lawyers at (516) 253-1366 today!