A power of attorney is utilized to select someone who would have the legal ability to make binding decisions on your behalf. However, these instruments become invalid upon the incapacitation of the grantor.
So how do you empower people to act for you in the event of your incapacitation?
In the field of estate planning, the way that this is done is through the execution of a special type of power of attorney. Durable powers of attorney are specifically designed to remain in effect even upon the incapacitation of the grantor.
Some jurisdictions allow for “springing” durable powers of attorney. These documents actually do not take effect until and unless the grantor becomes incapacitated.
Executing these documents is an important part of any holistic plan for aging because of the fact that a very significant percentage of our nation’s elders suffer from incapacitation eventually. There are other causes, but Alzheimer’s induced dementia strikes some four out of every 10 people who are 85 years of age and over.
If you don’t select decision-makers yourself the court could appoint a guardian to handle your affairs and you could become a ward of the state if it was determined that you were incapable of making sound decisions at some point in time.
To discuss the details of incapacity planning with an expert, don’t hesitate to pick up the phone to arrange for an informative consultation with a seasoned, savvy estate planning lawyer. Your attorney will assist you as you devise a comprehensive plan that protects your interests come what may.