Having a power of attorney is essential for estate planning

On Behalf of | Mar 2, 2020 | Firm News

Estate planning is complicated. Conversations with loved ones about managing health and finances can be awkward and difficult to initiate. But they are essential for prudent estate planning and controlling your legacy. There is ample work to do to bring the United States up to speed.

Baby Boomers are retiring while lifespans are increasing. More people with more time to accumulate property and assets. But not as much time to figure out what to do with them, it seems. Half of Americans over 55 do not have a will while only 18% have any estate planning documents. It is never too soon to plan.

Which power of attorney works for you?

If you become too ill or incapacitated to manage your affairs, there are ways to plan for an accident or medical crisis and ensure that your desires come to fruition.

A power of attorney can help you narrowly or broadly execute your strategy. It is a document that empowers a trusted friend or relative to carry out your wishes. You can also name one person to handle your financial affairs and somebody else to ensure your health care wishes are met.

Here are typical types of power of attorney in Arizona:

  • General. Allows your agent to make decisions involving personal finances, real estate and personal property and business transactions.
  • Special. Authorizes another adult to act on your behalf in a specific episode, such as a singular business transaction or property sale.
  • Parental. Delegates parental authority to another adult over your child or children for not longer than six months.
  • Health care. A person dedicated to making medical decisions on your behalf or execute funeral arrangements after death.

Without a health care power of attorney, it could be left to a judge to appoint a guardian to authorize what type of medical care you will receive and where. That person might not know your end-of-life wishes or carry out those of your loved ones. Having a power of attorney can give you confidence that someone will advocate for you so your family can rest assured that your desires will be met.

Assert your control

Establishing an estate plan to manage your affairs is a lasting gift you can provide your loved ones. Talking with relatives and friends or asking questions with a financial advisor or an attorney can offer perspective, help ease the tension and make you feel less alone.