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The importance of a power of attorney in estate planning

On Behalf of | Nov 1, 2016 | Estate Planning |

One important aspect of estate planning for Ohio residents may be creating a power of attorney. This allows them to appoint someone to manage their finances in the event they become incapacitated due to an accident, illness or a condition like dementia. However, there are a few things they may want to keep in mind regarding a power of attorney.

A power of attorney can be abused. People should not allow themselves to be pressured into creating one. They should also choose their agent, the person appointed to manage those finances, with care. The agent should be a person who is trustworthy as well as someone who understands the principal’s short and long-term goals.

There are also different types of powers of attorney. For example, a durable power of attorney starts immediately while a springing power of attorney is activated at a specific time such as when a person becomes incapacitated or reaches a certain age. If a springing power of attorney requires an examination by a medical professional, there might be a delay in its activation. A person should also specify what powers are granted. For example, it may not cover all investments or all accounts.

People may think of estate planning primarily in terms of how to handle assets after their death, but there are other aspects that should be considered as well. In addition to choosing someone to manage their financial affairs, they may also want to select someone to make health care decisions for them as well as leaving instructions for end-of-life care. An estate planning attorney can provide more information on these types of matters.