It is important to understand the limitations of a Power of Attorney before relying on it to be a substitute for Estate Planning by an Estate Planning Attorney. For instance, many people believe that a Power of Attorney will be able to take care of your Estate after death. Unfortunately, this is a common misconception. A Power of Attorney only remains valid until cancelled, until an expiration date, or most importantly–only until death of the principal. This means that a Power of Attorney cannot be used as a substitute for a Will or Trust. If you or a loved one have questions about what the best option is for their situation, it may be beneficial to contact an Estate Planning Attorney.
Another common misconception is that a Power of Attorney can replace an Advanced Health Care Directive which appoints a health care proxy. Depending on the type of Power of Attorney and the authority granted, you may not have designated a person to handle medical decisions if you only have a Power of Attorney. That is why it is often beneficial to have both a Durable Power of Attorney and an Advance Health Care Directive. An Estate Planning Attorney will be able to help you better understand what you might want to include in your unique Estate Plan.
A Power of Attorney is a powerful tool and an especially important decision to make. To understand options that can meet your individual needs feel free to contact our firm, Hartsfield & Egbert, PLLC at (405) 285-685, or visit our website www.helawedmond.com and schedule a consultation.