Powers of Attorney are documents which allow you to name someone to make decisions for you in the event you are not able to make decisions for yourself. There are two types of Power of Attorney:
It is important to make sure you have both kinds of Powers of Attorney prepared as part of your estate plan. Powers of Attorney are fairly simple documents but they need to be properly drafted and valid in order to be effective. If an unexpected illness or accident should happen, and you become unable to look after yourself or your financial affairs, having valid Powers of Attorney in place will allow the person of your choice to step in quickly and easily to manage your affairs. If you don’t have Powers of Attorney in place in the event of illness or accident, it will likely be necessary for someone make an Application to the court to be appointed to act as your guardian. That process is both time-consuming and expensive and should be avoided whenever possible. We have the legal experience and skill you need in a Wills and Estate Planning Lawyer to make sure that your Power of Attorney documents will be valid and effective when they are needed.
A Continuing Power of Attorney for Property is a legal document that allows you to name the person you want to manage your financial affairs in the event that you become incapable of looking after your own finances. The Power of Attorney for Property is only in effect while you are alive and must be prepared while you have the mental capacity to manage your own finances. If you lose the capacity to manage your own financial affairs and you do not have a valid Continuing Power of Attorney for Property, the government may assume control of your assets. Alternatively, someone close to you may have to apply to court to be appointed your guardian of property. Making a Continuing Power of Attorney for Property is an important part of an estate plan but these documents typically give the person you choose almost unlimited power over your financial affairs. It is therefore of vital importance that you choose your Attorney carefully to protect yourself and your loved ones.
A Power of Attorney for Personal Care is a legal document in which you name the person you want to make decisions about your health, medical treatment and personal care if you can’t make these decisions for yourself. The Power of Attorney for Personal Care only comes into effect if you lose the ability to make these kinds of decisions for yourself. The person you chose to be your personal care attorney could be called on to make end of life decisions for you if you are unconscious in hospital, or suffering from a head injury or dementia. In the event of a critical illness or accident you will want to know who is speaking on your behalf when you are too ill to speak for yourself.