A Power of Attorney is an important piece to your estate plan, but which kind of POA you need will depend upon your specific situation.
ADurable Power of Attorney for example, gives someone of your choosing the ability to act and speak on your behalf both when you’re competent to handle your own affairs as well as when you’re not.
For many people – especially married couples – this is the POA of choice. It allows someone you trust, a spouse for example, to take care of your financial affairs when you’re out of town or otherwise indisposed. And because it’s durable, it continues to be active even if you become disabled, meaning that your designated agent can continue to act on your behalf if you’re suddenly unable to do it yourself because of stroke, coma or a similar incapacity.
A springing Power of Attorney on the other hand, is one that only comes into action if and when you become disabled. This is an important distinction because while you might like the idea of someone taking care of your finances when you’re disabled, you might not want them to have any authority when you’re not.
This is the intent behind a springing Power of Attorney and can ensure that your agent only gains control when you’re no longer able to manage things yourself.
To learn more about Powers of Attorney and how to use them in your estate plan, consult with a qualified estate planning attorney.