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Durable Power of Attorney

When you sign a durable power of attorney, you authorize another person, called your agent, to make decisions for you if you become incapacitated. Though relatively straightforward, durable powers of attorney are vital when the unexpected happens. In case of emergency, everyone over the age of 18 should have a power of attorney. Powers of attorney are crucial to ensure the safety of special needs individuals, elderly individuals, and anyone else who may not make decisions on their own behalf.

Contact a Palm Springs Durable Power of Attorney Lawyer

Creating a durable power of attorney can help you protect your hard-earned assets by appointing someone you trust to make financial decisions for you if you become incapacitated. We know you've worked hard to build your estate, and you should have a say in how your estate is managed should you become incapacitated. You can trust attorney Christopher Heritage of Heritage Legal, PC, to preserve your wishes for how you would like your estate to be managed. Contact him today to schedule your initial consultation.

What Is a Durable Power of Attorney?

A durable power of attorney is among the most critical estate planning tools. The purpose of a durable power of attorney is to allow your appointed power of attorney to make decisions for you if you become incapacitated due to illness, injury, or disability. A non-durable power of attorney allows someone to make decisions for you while you can still make decisions.

For example, if you appointed a non-durable power of attorney, your agent could make decisions for you up until you are declared incapacitated. On the other hand, a durable power of attorney stays in effect when you cannot make decisions for yourself.

If you become mentally incapacitated, unconscious, or otherwise unable to communicate your wishes coherently, the agent you have selected for your durable power of attorney can make decisions for you. Your agent will be able to make decisions regarding your finances, health care, and other critical legal matters on your behalf. You have the choice to designate a specific person to act as your power of attorney for financial matters and to appoint someone else to act as your power of attorney for health care decisions. You can also choose to have one agent fill both of these roles.

The Benefits of Creating a Durable Power of Attorney

Many benefits come from creating a durable power of attorney. Having a durable power of attorney in place means you can avoid conservatorship or guardianship proceedings if you become incapacitated. Without a power of attorney in place, your family and friends will not be able to help you manage your finances. Instead, they may have to petition the court to appoint a guardian or conservator. This process is often time-consuming and costly. When you have a durable power of attorney in place, your agent will have the legal authority to make decisions for you immediately after you're declared incapacitated.

Your loved ones will not have to guess who you would like to make decisions for you. Coping with your loved one’s illness, injury, or incapacitation is stressful enough. When family members don't know or agree on how to decide for you, more strife can occur. When you have a durable power of attorney in place, your loved ones will rest assured that you've appointed someone you trust to make decisions on your behalf. With a durable power of attorney, your agent will be able to take care of the following important matters for you:

  • Paying your bills
  • Managing your investments
  • Directing your medical care
  • Filing taxes on your behalf
  • Managing your property
  • Collecting your debts
  • Accessing your financial accounts to pay for housing, health care, and other bills
  • Applying for public benefits on your behalf, such as MediCal or veteran's benefits

Selecting a Durable Power of Attorney

Selecting a durable power of attorney to act as your agent is a significant decision. You need to choose someone you trust when designating them to be your durable power of attorney. Remember that the person you choose will have the authority to do effectively anything they need to do concerning your finances if you become incapacitated. Discussing your power of attorney with an estate planning lawyer can help you make a wise decision.

Why You Need an Experienced Estate Planning Lawyer

Attorney Christopher Heritage can also help you decide how much power you would like to give to your durable power of attorney. One of the benefits of creating a durable power of attorney involves your control over how much power you delegate to your agent. You may only want your durable power of attorney to be able to pay your bills, your taxes, and manage your retirement. You can specify which types of decisions your power of attorney can make on your behalf.

Additionally, you can decide whether you would like your power of attorney to make your financial and health care decisions, or you'd like to appoint different people for these tasks. Attorney Christopher Heritage will listen to your needs and goals and carefully walk you through creating a power of attorney.

Attorney Christopher Heritage can also help you decide whether you want your power of attorney to be effective immediately, a “springing” power of attorney that becomes valid after you are incapacitated. He will create a power of attorney that aligns with your wishes and protects your assets, ensuring that your power of attorney is valid under California law.

Discuss Your Case With a Palm Springs Estate Planning Lawyer Today

Do you have questions about creating a durable power of attorney? Are you ready to begin creating your estate plan? If so, Christopher Heritage of Heritage Legal, PC, is here to help. A knowledgeable and compassionate lawyer, Christopher Heritage can help you choose, establish, and manage your durable power of attorney. Creating a durable power of attorney will help you protect the welfare of yourself and your loved ones. Contact Heritage Legal, PC today to schedule your initial consultation.


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