Power of attorney keeps financial affairs in order

While most individuals would like to think that nothing will ever happen, it is a fact of life that, at some point in time, something will happen. For one reason or another, the individual will be unable to take care of his or her own affairs and will need someone to step in. For those who have planned ahead and established a power of attorney, this process is relatively easy. However, for those who have not, it will be necessary to go through the California court system to have someone appointed to take care of things.

In some cases, a durable power of attorney is the appropriate option. With this type of case, the power of attorney is immediately granted. This can be beneficial if the individual needs to conduct business but will be unavailable to do so. The durable power of attorney allows a specified individual to act on behalf of the grantor and take care of these business or financial transactions.

In other cases, a “springing” power of attorney is appropriate. This type of power of attorney is only necessary if the individual becomes incapacitated; this incapacitation can be either physical or mental. For example, the individual may be ill and unable to attend to business affairs. Additionally, the individual may become mentally incapacitated due to dementia or other such conditions. Once this happens, the individual may be unable to make decisions regarding business affairs or even to name a power of attorney.

Many individuals throughout California recognize the need for a durable power of attorney if they must travel extensively. However, many individuals do not consider a “springing” power of attorney until it is too late. Once the individual begins to show signs of mental incapacitation, he or she may not be able to complete this process without going through the courts.

Source: macombdaily.com, “Where there is a will — and more — there’s peace of mind”, Feb. 3, 2017

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