Powers of attorney, which allow someone else to make financial or legal decisions on your behalf, can be an essential part of your estate plan. Did you know that various types help ensure that your wishes will be carried out if you become incapacitated, providing security for you and your loved ones? Let us review the top 7 reasons you need a durable power of attorney right now.

1. You need to be mentally competent in order to execute a power of attorney, so it can be important to do so when you initially create your estate plan rather than waiting until later. This is a great reason to have a durable power of attorney executed right now.

2. Many, if not most, states require that a power of attorney be written, witnessed, and notarized. These requirements are similar to the requirements for a will, although the latter may be more stringent. Being able to take care of witnessing and notarizing multiple documents at one time is a great reason to grant a power of attorney at the same time you are writing your estate plan.

3. There may be no reason for concern if you execute your durable power of attorney and find you want to change the person named, the “agent,” down the road; as long as you are still mentally competent, you are free to change it at any time.

4. You can create a general durable power of attorney that gives your agent the right to act on your behalf in all situations until your death occurs or you terminate it.

5. You can choose to create a limited durable power of attorney for a specific purpose and a specific period of time.

6. A general durable power of attorney will give your agent rights to handle all legal and financial matters, so if you decide to go on a long trip, they can pay bills in your name and take care of mundane daily things, so you are free to enjoy your travels.

7. A durable power of attorney takes effect immediately, and remains in effect after you become incapacitated, terminating only upon your death. It can be a good choice because if you do not have a durable power of attorney, no one other than a court can decide to appoint someone to manage your affairs if you become incapacitated. The person they choose might well be someone you would never have chosen yourself.

To establish a strong estate plan that includes a durable power of attorney and other important legal tools, please reach out to our office to schedule an appointment.