A power of attorney is an advance directive that is designed to designate an agent to make financial decisions on a person’s behalf in the event he or she becomes incapacitated. There are a number of benefits to developing a comprehensive power of attorney.
Establish Who Will Make Decisions on Your Behalf
In the event that a person becomes incapacitated and can no longer make decisions, a designated agent that you trust will now be able to act on your behalf to make important financial decisions. If a person does not have a comprehensive power of attorney, a guardianship proceeding may need to be commenced.
Avoid a Guardianship Proceeding
If an individual does not have the adequate capacity to execute a power of attorney, an Article 81 proceeding, also known as a guardianship proceeding, may be commenced in order for a court to appoint a guardian. Article 81 of the New York State Mental Hygiene Law allows a proceeding to occur before a judge where a person may request that the court appoint a guardian to act on behalf of an individual who is incapacitated. Having a power of attorney in place before an individual loses the capacity to make financial and other decisions will help eliminate certain complexities, as well as preserve resources and save time.
Discuss Your Wishes with Loved Ones
Establishing a comprehensive power of attorney provides an opportunity for individuals to communicate with family members and loved ones regarding his or her wishes and expectations in the event he or she becomes incapacitated.
Establishing a comprehensive power of attorney will help prevent financial abuse and ensure peace of mind. An agent is limited to the powers that are enumerated in the document. Furthermore, a person may choose to expand an agent’s power by giving them the ability to make gifts or limit an agent’s power by naming co-agents who must agree on decision-making, or require reporting to a third party. In addition, a well-drafted power of attorney assists with eliminating contentious issues that may arise between family members and loved ones.
If you are looking to create a comprehensive power of attorney, an experienced lawyer can provide you with the legal guidance necessary to help plan for your future. From the simple to complex, the attorneys at Blodnick, Fazio & Clark are skilled in all aspects of estate planning and are dedicated to representing their clients with diligence and compassion. With an office conveniently located in Garden City, Nassau County, the firm is dedicated to providing high-quality legal representation at reasonable costs. Call (516) 280-7105 to arrange a free consultation.