Estate Planning: Creating A Power Of Attorney

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Everyone needs an estate plan. Certainly, not everyone needs the complicated tax sheltering vehicles some have, but everyone needs these basic estate planning documents: (1) a will; (2) a durable power of attorney; and (3) an advance medical directive (“living will”). Too often, people dismiss estate planning as something only millionaires need or as something they will deal with later. But the fact is that these documents are helpful for everyone, and you can’t put off them until later forever. There are myriad reasons why estate planning, and specifically having a will, is important for everyone. First, if you die without a will, your estate is distributed under state “intestate succession laws.” While intestate succession laws generally …show more content…

Hiring an experienced estate planning attorney to help you through the process can eliminate that issue. An aspect of estate planning that is often overlooked is creating a power of attorney. A power of attorney is a document that gives authority to someone you trust to make decisions, usually financial or health care related decisions, on your behalf while you are living. Whereas a will does not come into effect until your passing, a power of attorney is used while you are alive but unable to make decisions for yourself. You can have one document granting decision-making authority over all matters to a person, or you can have different documents granting specific authority to a person or persons. For the purposes of this article, we’ll imagine two separate powers of attorney: one for financial and other matters, and one for health care decisions. With a power of attorney, your “agent” or “attorney in fact” can handle all kinds of matters, provided you have granted him or her the authority to do so in the power of attorney document. For example, your agent can manage your bank and investment accounts, transfer funds, and insurance …show more content…

Without a durability clause, your agent would have to obtain a court order to be able to make decisions on your behalf. Avoid the hassle and cost of a court hearing and get a sound document in the first place. Too often, the documents offered online at popular legal websites are deficient in this and other important ways. These “one size fits all” documents may be cheap on the front end, but you get what you pay for. They will all too often miss out on important protections that cost you down the road. From both a secular and Christian perspective, estate planning is a necessary protection for everyone. Estate planning brings peace of mind knowing that you’ve planned ahead for the good of your loved ones. From a Christian perspective, the Bible calls us to be good stewards of that which belongs to us. Peter calls for us to be faithful stewards (1 Peter 4:10), while Luke asks “if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches?” (Luke

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