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Powers of Attorney - The Facts

POWERS OF ATTORNEY

The Facts...

 

If you become sick or disabled, either temporarily or permanently, who will make decisions for you?

  • A Power of Attorney allows you to appoint someone you trust to handle your affairs if you cannot do so. 
  • If you are unable to do it yourself, your family will be prevented from paying bills, getting records, helping you get treatment, pay doctors or qualify for Medicaid, or making other important decisions on your behalf, if you do not have comprehensive, well written, and specific Powers of Attorney in place.
  • Without comprehensive, well written and specific Powers of Attorney, your family may have to file a court proceeding, seeking guardianship of you (for health care decisions) or seeking conservatorship (for financial decisions). This process involves the Court, several lawyers and usually at least $4,000 to $50,000. A Power of Attorney might cost $200 - $500.
  • There are two main types of Powers of Attorney:  financial and health...
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Why Do I Need a Financial Power of Attorney? - Ask The Attorney

Q: Every time I go to the doctor, they ask me if I have a health care power of attorney. I understand why that’s important, but now I’m hearing that I also need a financial power of attorney (financial POA). My family member is joint on everything, so why do I need one?

 

 

A: The short answer is, you need a financial POA in the event that you become unable to manage your own finances. Even though you may think you have everything “taken care of” through joint ownership, it isn’t that simple. For example, you cannot own most tax-deferred assets, such as IRAs, jointly. A beneficiary designation doesn’t give power to your beneficiary during your life. A financial POA, when done properly, also enables a person you trust to apply for important health care benefits (if you need them) and it enables them to preserve your money in times of crisis.  Without proper planning, your loved ones will need to go to court in a process called...

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