American Indian Owned Law Firm

Powers of attorney are critical in estate planning

On Behalf of | Dec 9, 2023 | Probate & Estate Planning

All adults should have a comprehensive estate plan. While many people become focused on the will and passing down assets, the powers of attorney are just as important. 

Powers of attorney come in different forms, with medical and financial powers being among the most significant. Medical and financial powers of attorney are pivotal in managing a person’s affairs when they can no longer do so.

Medical and financial powers of attorney

A medical power of attorney empowers a designated individual to make healthcare decisions. These decisions can range from routine medical care to critical interventions, emphasizing the need for a trusted individual to hold this responsibility. 

A financial power of attorney allows the appointed agent to manage monetary transactions and handle financial responsibilities. This can include various activities, from everyday bill payments to managing complex financial portfolios.

Powers stop at the creator’s death

One critical aspect of powers of attorney is they cease upon the death of the person who created them. This means that the authority granted to the agent to make decisions or manage affairs is immediately revoked upon the individual’s passing. The management of the deceased person’s affairs transitions to an executor as outlined in a will or appointed by a court. 

This underscores the importance of having powers of attorney in place and ensuring that there is a comprehensive estate plan, including a will, to guide the handling of affairs after death. Working with someone who understands the applicable circumstances is beneficial for those who want to create an estate plan.