Many people understand the value of a Last Will and Testament, which ensures a person's wishes are executed after their passing. However, many people fail to properly plan for a lifetime dis ability, leaving their legal, financial, business and personal affairs in a vulnerable position.
If you do not have a durable power of attorney and you become dis abled at any point and are unable to take care of your personal business on a daily basis, your assets and credit are at risk. Who will pay your mortgage if you are unable to write the checks? Who will pay your creditors and keep your business running while you are incapacitated?
A durable power of attorney allows you to choose your own "agent" to act as your attorney-in-fact upon your dis ability. This grants you the opportunity to choose an agent you trust and who is prepared to handle your day-to-day business in your best interest. You may execute a broad general durable power of attorney, which allows your agent to act on your behalf on a multitude of levels or you may execute a limited/specific power of attorney, which limits the authority of your agent.
Even if you are married and all your assets are owned jointly with your spouse, a durable power of attorney is recommended because, without naming your spouse as your agent, they will be unable to sell or liquidate the jointly held properties, which may be necessary if you are incapacitated for a long period of time.
Always remember, when constructing your estate plan, devices beyond just a Last Will and Testament are necessary to protect all of you and your family's interests.
THE FOREOING IS NOT INTENDED AS LEGAL ADVICE. IF YOU HAVE A SPECIFIC LEGAL QUESTION, PLEASE CONTACT OUR OFFICE AND SPEAK TO AN ATTORNEY TODAY.