When you create your estate plan, you write a will, establish trusts, guardians, and more. However, one of the most important aspects of estate planning is preparing for incapacitation. Though this is a rather dreary subject, it is actually quite important that you ensure you have a plan in place.

Fortunately, most people never even have to use such a plan, however, by creating a plan, you make the process far easier on your family, and you may also achieve peace of mind knowing that your affairs will be handled as you would have intended, should you become unable to handle them yourself. If you are considering creating a power of attorney, please read on to learn more about what you can do.

How do powers of attorney work?

Powers of attorney are created to help instruct those caring for an individual on how to conduct his or her affairs. Principals, or the one creating the power of attorney, will appoint an agent–the one who will enforce the power of attorney. Principals will usually only select someone close to them who they can trust will handle their affairs honestly, competently, and directly. As an agent in a power of attorney, your job will be to handle the principal’s property, tax returns, medical records, bills, and more. Rather obviously, principals must obtain an agent’s written consent before a power of attorney is considered valid and enforceable.

What are the most common types of powers of attorney?

Though there are standard powers of attorney that most people choose, you may also craft your own power of attorney with a lawyer, should your specific situation call for one. However, the most common powers of attorney are as follows:

  • Durable, or Non-Durable Powers of Attorney: The key difference between durable and non-durable powers of attorney is that durable powers of attorney grant the agent total control over the principal’s affairs for an unspecified time, starting when the principal becomes incapacitated. On the other hand, a non-durable power of attorney is only used for certain transactions, and the agent’s authority is limited to those specific transactions. Once the transaction is complete, the non-durable power of attorney will end.
  • Medical Power of Attorney: These are created specifically for medical-related situations, where the principal seeks to give an agent permission to handle his or her medical affairs, should he or she become unable to do so alone.
  • Springing Power of Attorney: These are created for a future triggering event, such as a sudden injury or mental condition that causes the principal to become incapacitated.

Contact our experienced New York firm

The Lauterbach Law Firm is proud to serve clients throughout Rockland County who are faced with legal matters related to estate planning, real estate, foreclosure defense, landlord-tenant law, business law, and criminal defense. If you require the services of an experienced team of attorneys, contact The Lauterbach Law Firm today to schedule a consultation.