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Your Family’s Assets & Legacy

What is a power of attorney?

| Dec 23, 2019 | Advance Health Care Directives |

Many people assume that estate planning is only for after your death, but that is not the case. A good estate plan will also account for what would happen if you were to suffer an illness or injury that made it impossible for you to communicate your wishes. Having a plan for a situation like this can prevent a lot of headaches and heartaches for your family. It also helps to ensure that they know your wishes and make decisions that you would make if you could. One document to include in your estate plan in New York that will assist with this is a power of attorney.

The New York City Bar explains that a power of attorney is a contract where you give another person the right to make decisions for you. You can set up this type of legal document in different ways. For example, you can limit the power to only make medical decisions. You can also use it to give a person power to make financial and legal decisions. It is possible to have a blanket power of attorney that lets your agent, which is the person to whom you grant the power, make all decisions on your behalf.

You also can add conditions to the document. It allows you to limit the power if you want. You can also add safeguards to help protect you and your assets from an agent who does not have your best interests in mind.

Having a power of attorney will allow your agent to step in when needed to watch out for your best interests. If you do not have this document, the only way for your loved ones to make decisions in some situations is to go to court, which is time-consuming and costly. This information is for education and is not legal advice.

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