Importance of Powers of Attorney

by | May 1, 2024

Importance of Powers of Attorney

Ever wonder who would make decisions on your behalf if you became incapacitated? Many assume that a family member would seamlessly step in, unfortunately this is not always the case. At Axis Law Group, an estate law firm, we prioritize ensuring your estate plan covers all of life’s ups and downs, including issues of incapacity. That’s why today we will examine the crucial role that powers of attorney play in comprehensive estate planning.

What is a Power of Attorney?

Though the phrase “power of attorney” conjures images of attorneys running around in capes with superhuman powers, disappointingly the definition is far more mundane. A power of attorney gives another person the ability to make binding decisions on your behalf. The authorized person is known as your agent and has a fiduciary duty to make decisions in your best interest.

Importance of Power of Attorney

The best way to show the importance of powers of attorney is through an example. Let’s say that a married couple, Taylor and Travis, were travelling together and got into a car accident. While Travis remains unharmed, Taylor falls into a coma. Without a healthcare power of attorney nominating Travis as her agent, Taylor’s medical decisions require going through a guardianship hearing to nominate a court-appointed guardian. Additionally, financial matters necessitate a conservatorship hearing since their accounts aren’t jointly held.

As is evident, not having powers of attorney in place can amplify stressful situations. Yet, a power of attorney sidesteps the judicial process of a guardianship and conservatorship hearing and enables you to appoint those you trust to make decisions on your behalf.

Financial and Healthcare Power of Attorney

At Axis Law Group, we make sure to include both a financial power of attorney and a healthcare power of attorney in your estate plan. A financial power of attorney empowers your agent to make financial decisions for you and control your financial accounts. A healthcare power of attorney permits your agent to make medical decisions on your behalf. Both documents are crucial to have in your estate plan.

Springing versus Immediate

Beyond financial and healthcare powers of attorney, a power of attorney may be either springing or immediate. A springing power of attorney allows your agent to act when a future event has occurred, such as incapacity due to a stroke, brain aneurism, or dementia. Conversely, an immediate power of attorney gives your agent the ability to make decisions on your behalf upon document signing. Choosing between the two depends on your unique needs and objectives.

Contact Us Today!

Contact a Colorado Springs estate planning lawyer at Axis Law Group to provide you with peace of mind through life’s unexpected events. Schedule a free initial consultation today!