Setting up a Power of Attorney
Estate planning is the process of asset and personal property distribution when an individual becomes incapacitated or dies. This is a concern for different individuals who would like to ensure that their loved ones would be able to get their properties when the inevitable happens. Most of the time though, people notice this too late.
Within the tools of estate planning, documents like living wills and revocable trust help us cater to different financial matters. Among the underused tools in planning is the power of attorney (POA) which gives everyone the option to choose an agent to act as your representative for your financial or health care concerns if you end up suffering physical or mental incapacity.
Why do I need a Power of Attorney in Maine?
The power of attorney is a useful tool in planning ahead of unfortunate circumstances. This way, you are still able to give your agent your decisions during that concerning time. This is where a power of attorney can come in handy. This could provide individuals social security especially in accidents or other instances.
Through a Maine power of attorney, an executor can appoint an agent like a loved one or a spouse, to legally act on your behalf for financial decisions and health care concerns. In many states, there are multiple requirements needed for proper submission. Our expert team at Jackson Estate Planning should be able to give our clients legal advice and offer our legal services that they can use in creating a robust POA.
What are some Powers of Attorneys available?
Given the complexity of real estate planning, multiple types of POAs are available. In the United States, multiple states have different laws and statutes in place concerning these different types of power of attorney. Because of this, if you are interested in filing a POA, it is important to consider which type to use:
General Power of Attorney
This power of attorney allows the agent to act for the executor in general financial concerns like banking and real estate management. Due to this general description, this type of POA is mainly used for single-time real estate transaction, like your agent needing to file a bank statement during the time that you are hospitalized.
Durable Power of Attorney
This power of attorney is durable because it continues after the incapacitation of the individual. This is usually more robust, and your chosen agent will be granted access to all of your financial concerns from the moment of incompetence to your death. This is usually brought up in elder law cases where the individual is incapable of representing themselves due to old age.
Medical Power of Attorney
The medical POA, also called a health care surrogate process, is a specific type of power of attorney. In this POA, the agent is tasked to perform extremely important medical decisions on the executor’s behalf if they become incompetent. Given that there are accidents or personal injury cases that lead to incapacitation, getting this power of attorney early is a good consideration to let you have a say in your life even after a major injury.
If you are considering any of these setups, our estate planning law firm in Maine are willing to offer our legal services and assist with the concerns of our clients.
Setting up a Power of Attorney
In creating a power of attorney document, it helps to follow these simple guidelines to make the process efficient and hassle-free.
- Decide your agent. The first and most important aspect of setting up a power of attorney is choosing your representative. Given that they will have a lot of power over your financial and medical concerns, it’s important that you trust this person fully. A good way to choose this surrogate is to interview them beforehand to also give them the idea of the gravity of your choice.
- Specify everything. In writing the contents of your power of attorney, make sure to specify which financial affairs and/or medical decisions your agent will be able to perform. Make sure to also detail your personal decisions on the specific situations. You can use templates of power of attorneys online as your baseline in writing your own POAs.
- Sign properly and authorize. Once your form is completed, whether you used a template or started from scratch, make sure to sign it properly. There should also be a witness or two who is able to see this signing process for it to be considered valid in most states. Lastly, some states require the executor to furnish a notarized copy.
- Make multiple accessible copies. Your agent, lawyer, if you have one, and a family member should have a copy of your power of attorney form. In some states, your agent will actually need their copy as the proof of their agency position before they are allowed to make any medical concern-related decisions for you.
- Keep all your documents in a safe space. This is to ensure that the original copy of your power of attorney and other estate forms like your living wills and trusts are safe if an accident occurs. Make sure that this space is properly shielded from possible accidents such as fire or water damage. Lastly, make sure that the info on the whereabouts of your forms are accessible to family members or trusted individuals.
- Update the form. Last but not the least, make sure that you are able to update your POA every once in a while. While this is a tedious process, this allows you to make changes in terms of your current assets, specific decisions on financial or medical concerns.
As noted in this process, an executor is not required to have an estate plan lawyer in crafting their own POA. But an experienced Maine law attorney in real estate management and asset concerns can give our clients legal advice to make more descriptive conditions or requirements, making your power of attorney more robust.
Schedule a consultation about your POA concerns!
People are often afraid of thinking about their loved ones in an unfortunate state. But when the unthinkable happens, being prepared can help us tackle these problems headfirst. While people usually file specific wills or trusts, a power of attorney might be the legal document that you are looking for.
Our team of adept estate planning lawyers in the Jackson Estate Planning can help you manage your Power of Attorney concerns. If you also have concerns with other practice areas such as elder law or probate law, then we can offer our legal services to you.
There’s never a wrong time to begin thinking about getting a power of attorney. Schedule a free estate planning and asset protection strategy session with us and give your trust to our law office to make your concerns seamless and hassle-free.