Power of Attorney

Power of Attorney

A power of attorney is a legal document used to appoint another person to make property and/or health care decisions on your behalf. It allows you (the principal) to grant authority to your appointed agent (also called your attorney in fact) to manage your financial matters or health care needs.

A power of attorney for property management allows your agent to address your financial and property issues when you are unable to do so. It may grant your agent the power to buy and sell real estate, manage bank accounts or investment accounts and access your financial records. A power of attorney is typically general in nature, giving your agent broad authority to transact any and all business on your behalf and to manage your property. However, you may choose to grant your agent only limited powers, such as those necessary to carry out a discrete task (i.e. to sell your car).
You have the option of making your power of attorney effective immediately upon execution or effective only upon your incapacitation (known as a springing power of attorney). In addition, you have the option of executing a durable power of attorney which remains in effect, or merely comes into effect, once you are incapacitated. Absent language creating a durable power of attorney, your power of attorney will cease to be effective upon your incapacitation or upon the occurrence of a specified event. These are important distinctions to discuss with your attorney prior to drafting a power of attorney to ensure that the document meets your individual needs.

The attorneys at Lonich Patton Ehrlich Policastri can draft a power of attorney for property management which fits your individual needs both now and in the future. We invite you to contact our office for a free, no obligation consultation.

Advanced Health Care Directive

Much like a living will, the durable power of attorney for health care appoints an attorney in fact to make health care decisions based upon your specific and spelled out wishes in the event you become incapacitated. For example, a health care power of attorney allows you to express your wishes regarding life-sustaining treatment should the need for such treatment arise. It is important to provide detailed guidance for your health care agent in the power of attorney. A Lonich Patton Ehrlich Policastri estate planning attorney will be able to assist you with the specific direction and authorization you are willing to give to your health care agent to ensure that your wishes are carried out.