Incapacity is something which can occur at any age, and which can happen to anyone. While no one ever thinks they will suffer an accident or develop an illness that makes them unable to manage their affairs, the reality is this can happen in the blink of an eye. If you find yourself in a situation where you cannot manage your own assets or make your own healthcare choices, you will lose control over what happens to you and your property. However, if you have planned in advance and created a power of attorney, you can maintain some level of autonomy by determining who will act for you.
Gersh Law Offices, P.S.C. provides assistance determining if you need a power of attorney and in exploring additional options for making healthcare choices and ensuring appropriate management of assets. We can also help with the formal legal process required by Kentucky law for the creation of a legally valid power of attorney, and we can represent agents who are trying to exercise their authority under a power of attorney. Give us a call for personalized advice and to find out key information you need to know including:
- Should I create a power of attorney?
- How does a power of attorney work?
- How can a Louisville power of attorney lawyer help me?
Should I Create a Power of Attorney?
You should create a power of attorney. This is the answer to the question for almost every person. While there are other options to plan for management of assets in case of incapacity, such as a living trust, a power of attorney is one of the simplest and easiest ways to ensure you decide who will be in charge of managing all of your assets.
If you do not have a power of attorney in place and you become incapacitated, your family members will need to go through formal guardianship proceedings in court. There could be disagreement over who manages your affairs and who makes healthcare choices for you. Someone could ultimately be selected to make your decisions and manage your assets even though that person is someone you don’t trust and would never have chosen.
With a power of attorney, you don’t have to worry about this undesirable outcome and your family is not put into the difficult position of being forced to go to court as they cope with your illness or injury. Creating a power of attorney is the right thing to do for both yourself and for those you love.
How Does a Power of Attorney Work?
A power of attorney allows you to grant general or limited authority to an agent who will be able to act on your behalf. You can create a general power of attorney to allow your agent to act for you in virtually all transactions, with minimal limits imposed by law. You could also create a limited power of attorney giving an agent authority to act for you only in specific or limited situations.
When you create a power of attorney as part of your estate planning process, you need to make sure the power of attorney is durable. This means it will remain in effect in the event of incapacity, which is when it becomes necessary so your agent can act when you cannot. If you don’t want to transfer authority until such time as you become unable to communicate or make decisions for yourself, you can make a springing durable power of attorney.
When you create a power of attorney, you also can take steps to name a healthcare proxy. This person can be a different person than the agent for your general power of attorney or can be someone else who you select. The healthcare proxy can make decisions for you on the types of medical treatment you wish to receive. You should supplement this with a living will and/or advanced directive providing instructions on some of the most difficult choices like whether you want CRP or a feeding tube in the event of a terminal illness or serious injury.
How Can a Louisville Power of Attorney Lawyer Help Me?
Gersh Law Offices, P.S.C. understands Kentucky laws for creating a power of attorney and can help you to take the formal legal steps necessary to plan ahead in case of incapacity. When you want to maintain a degree of autonomy no matter what happens to you in the future, we can help to make that happen. To learn more about the assistance we offer and to get started on your incapacity plan, contact a Louisville power of attorney lawyer today.