There are certain core documents that are very helpful to have in place which establish your wishes regarding how you want both personal and financial matters handled by your estate administrator upon your death. It is just as important, however, to have a legal plan in place as to who will make financial and medical decisions on your behalf if you become disabled or incapacitated such that you are unable to make these decisions for yourself while still living. This is why a power of attorney (commonly known as a POA) is one of the most important estate planning documents.
If you are interested in a chesterfield missouri power of attorney, it could be very helpful to consult with an experienced estate planning attorney to discuss your wishes in this regard. Below are some major benefits to having a properly executed POA.
What Exactly Is a Power of Attorney?
In simplest terms, a power of attorney is a legal document that allows you to name someone whom you trust (usually a close family member or friend) to make financial and legal decisions on your behalf when you are away (e.g., out of the country) or are unable to do so for some reason (e.g., physical or mental incapacitation). The person who executes the POA is referred to as the “principal” and the individual designated to act on behalf of the principal is known as the “agent.”
POAs can be “general” or “limited” in terms of the scope of authority granted to the agent to make decisions for the principal. Further, POAs can be “durable” in nature if the agent’s power to make decisions extends beyond the principal’s incapacitation.
Ease of Preparation
A simple POA is relatively simple to prepare. As a result, the document is not an expensive component of estate planning.
The Principal Has the Power
The principal gets to decide who the agent will be and whether the powers bestowed upon the agent will be general or much more limited in their scope. Further, the principal has full control over whether the POA will be durable in the case of incapacity.
The POA is an incredibly convenient document. It allows for a person’s affairs to be tended to according to that person’s express wishes. It can be very limited in scope (e.g., allowing just for the sale of a home) or limited in duration (e.g., only for the duration that the principal is out of the country).
An experienced estate planning attorney can draft a POA that carries out your exact wishes while protecting you at the same time.