When you execute a Power of Attorney (POA), you give another person powers over your medical and/ or financial decisions if you become incapacitated or unavailable. A healthcare POA gives that person power to make medical decisions, while a general POA deals with financial matters. These documents help avoid public guardianship and conservatorship proceedings. For either document, you can designate these powers as durable or springing.
A durable POA becomes effective immediately upon signing and remains in effect if you become incapacitated or unavailable, while a springing POA becomes effective after you are incapacitated or unavailable.
Well, which one should you choose? Some people are more comfortable with a springing POA as opposed to a durable POA because they do not want to grant their designee or agent too much power at the outset and create the potential for abuse. However, there are drawbacks with a springing POA- especially for healthcare and the elderly. For example, an elderly person may not be incapacitated but may need assistance in paying bills and handling other matters. There are also other situations where a durable POA may be more advantageous- i.e. a spouse in the military or that travels a lot for work and is often unavailable to sign important documents, i.e. a mortgage. Issues also may arise if a springing POA does not specifically spell out how to determine if you are incapacitated.
There are a number of other factors to consider before making these important designations. Either way, a POA is something that everyone should have- from millennials to the elderly. Contact C&G to determine your needs and make sure you have the appropriate designations in place- TODAY!
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