Don’t Wait Until It is Too Late to Execute a Power of Attorney
A durable power of attorney is an extremely important estate planning tool, often more important than a will. If you become incapacitated due to dementia or some other reason, this crucial document allows a person you appoint (your “attorney-in-fact” or “agent”) to act in place of you (the Principal”) for financial purposes. The agent under the power of attorney can quickly step in and take care of your affairs.
But in order to execute a power of attorney and name an agent to stand in your shoes, you need to have capacity. Regrettably, many people delay completing this vital estate planning step until it is too late and they no longer are legally capable of executing the power of attorney.
What happens then? Without a durable power of attorney, no one can represent you unless a court appoints a conservator. That court process takes time and costs money, and the judge may not choose the person you would prefer. In addition, under a conservatorship, the representative may have to seek court permission to take planning steps that he or she could have implemented immediately under a simple durable power of attorney. To execute a durable power of attorney before it is too late, contact your attorney.
Ms. MacDonald’s practice is limited to Estate Planning, Probate & Trust Administration. Ms. MacDonald maintains her practice in the Santa Clarita Valley at 25115 Avenue Stanford, Suite A-209, Valencia, California. She can be reached at 661-294-6464.
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