While you may have your will or trust established for what happens to your assets after you die, you may not have thought about what happens if you can no longer make decisions for yourself. You may need someone to make critical decisions or control your finances if you become incapacitated and can no longer do so yourself. When you give this legal responsibility to someone else, they become your power of attorney. A durable power of attorney takes this responsibility a step further, so here’s everything you need to know.
General Power of Attorney
The general power of attorney is the person you choose to take care of your affairs while you are still mentally coherent. This person can make decisions on finances, legal matters or medical situations. You can choose how much power they have, and limit their ability to make certain decisions. The key thing to note about the general power of attorney is that the person can no longer make decisions if you become incapacitated. That is where a durable power of attorney comes in.
Durable Power of Attorney
The durable power of attorney is the same as the general. The only difference is that they remain your power of attorney even if you can’t make decisions on your own. Mental incapacitation can occur because of physical deterioration or a sudden accident, which is why it is important to have a durable power of attorney no matter your situation. By planning ahead, you prepare yourself and loved ones for mental decline later in life or emergencies.
In the case when you are incapacitated, you can have your durable power of attorney make medical decisions for you. This person can carry out your wishes and inform doctors of what you would have wanted in this situation. They will continue to be your voice until you have recovered.
Process for Giving Someone the Power of Attorney
If you are interested in granting someone the durable power of attorney over your affairs, speak to an estate planning lawyer. They can help you fill out the right paperwork and make sure no errors occur that could hinder your power of attorney’s abilities in the future. It is also possible to take away the power of attorney from anyone. An estate planning lawyer in Rochelle Park, NJ, like from the Law Offices of Joshua Kaplan, P.L., can talk you through this process, and you should contact businesses and banks to make sure they know there is no longer a power of attorney.