The significance of Powers of Attorney

by | May 1, 2024

Have you ever wondered who would make decisions for you if you were unable to? Many assume that a family member would step in smoothly, but unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. At Axis Law Group, a firm specializing in estate law, we prioritize ensuring that your estate plan covers all aspects of life, including issues of incapacity. That’s why today, we’ll explore the vital role that powers of attorney play in comprehensive estate planning.

Understanding Powers of Attorney

While the term “power of attorney” might bring to mind images of lawyers with extraordinary powers, the reality is much more ordinary. A power of attorney grants another person the authority to make legally binding decisions on your behalf. This authorized individual is referred to as your agent and is obligated to act in your best interests.

Significance of Powers of Attorney

To illustrate the importance of powers of attorney, let’s consider an example. Imagine a married couple, Taylor and Travis, who are traveling together and are involved in a car accident. While Travis escapes unscathed, Taylor falls into a coma. Without a healthcare power of attorney designating Travis as her agent, decisions regarding Taylor’s medical care would require a guardianship hearing to appoint a court-appointed guardian. Additionally, managing financial matters would necessitate a conservatorship hearing since their accounts are not jointly held.

It’s evident that not having powers of attorney in place can exacerbate already stressful situations. However, a power of attorney bypasses the need for a guardianship and conservatorship hearing, allowing you to appoint trusted individuals to make decisions on your behalf.

Financial and Healthcare Powers of Attorney

At Axis Law Group, we ensure that both a financial power of attorney and a healthcare power of attorney are included in your estate plan. A financial power of attorney authorizes your agent to make financial decisions and manage your financial accounts, while a healthcare power of attorney allows your agent to make medical decisions on your behalf. Both documents are essential components of your estate plan.

Springing vs. Immediate Powers of Attorney

In addition to financial and healthcare powers of attorney, a power of attorney can be either springing or immediate. A springing power of attorney enables your agent to act when a specified event occurs, such as incapacity due to a stroke or dementia. Conversely, an immediate power of attorney grants your agent authority upon the signing of the document. The choice between the two depends on your individual needs and goals.

Get in Touch Today!

Reach out to an estate planning attorney at Axis Law Group to gain peace of mind in the face of life’s uncertainties. Schedule a complimentary initial consultation today!