Considerations for Power of Attorney

Developing a comprehensive estate plan requires many different elements that work together to benefit you and your family. One of the most important documents within your estate plan is the power of attorney. There are several types and each comes with its own set of responsibilities. When you make your own estate plan, incorporating your family members and people you trust is an essential part of making sure your wishes are being met.  

Powers of Attorney

When developing an estate plan, you may not necessarily need several different people to fulfill the role (or attorney-in-fact) of carrying out the power of attorney, but when incorporating specific family members, it’s important to know designations to determine who might best fit that role. The following are some of the common power of attorney types:

Durable Power of Attorney: This grants someone to make decisions and conduct financial matters on behalf of the principal (or the person making the designation within their own estate plan) during their life. It remains in effect even if the principal becomes incapacitated.

General Power of Attorney: This designation grants broad authority to handle a wide range of tasks on behalf of the principal. This can include personal and business decisions and the specifics of which can be outlined within the estate plan.

Limited Power of Attorney: This type grants limited authority to perform specific tasks for a given period of time.

Healthcare Power of Attorney:  Also known as “healthcare proxy,” grants the authority to make healthcare decisions on behalf of the principal in the event that they’re incapacitated. 

Who Should You Select As Power of Attorney?

People with large, close-knit families are not only lucky enough to have people who love them and are willing to do anything for them, but they’re more likely to benefit from all of their experiences. A common mistake estate lawyers find is that not every family member is capable of executing the same tasks and responsibilities, and making each child equally responsible within an estate plan can cause a lot of turmoil. 

Do not concern yourself with the feelings of others when establishing your estate plan. It is supposed to protect you, your assets, and your family in the event of your incapacitation, or death. As a parent, you know your own children best and have an intimate understanding of their strengths and weaknesses. For example, if one of your adult children is a nurse, it may be best to designate them as the attorney-in-fact for healthcare power of attorney. Another example would be that if one of your children struggles financially, then it may be wiser to allow a different family member to have control over finances. In the event that there is sophisticated planning involved for a business or corporation, set clear expectations on who family members can seek out to help outside the family. 

There are so many considerations to take when creating an estate plan, but once over the initial hurdle, you can rest easy knowing that your wishes will be heard and respected. At the law firm of Zamora, Hillman, & Villavicencio, our team is ready to give guidance on how to make these difficult choices. For a consultation, contact our firm online, or call: (305) 285-0285 today.

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Zamora, Hillman & Villavicencio

Our firm deals with legal matters involving your loved ones, and our familial operation is prepared to give you caring and effective counsel during what might be a difficult or emotional time.

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