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Power of Attorney

Some people do not know the importance of having a power of attorney form within your estate planning documents, or what it even does. Today on Tulsa Estate Planning Blog, let’s break it down to see if you might need to consider getting one executed.  People I meet do not often stop to reflect on the expense, time, and legal hassles that are passed on to family and loved ones to set up a legal guardianship, when all they needed to do was have a power of attorney form to take care of the problem.

If you become incapacitated or incompetent by a matter of law and cannot make important medical, legal, or practical decisions, a power of attorney form should help solve the problem. People can become incapacitated by events such as an illness, an accident, an absence (either planned or not), or simply when you decide you cannot do it all by yourself. The Power of Attorney will decide who will make sure: banking deposits and slips are dealt with, the bills are paid on time, and insurance, medical, and benefits paper work are dealt with.

Disability and incapacity can hit anyone at any time. If you become incapacitated and haven’t appointed an attorney-in-fact, then a court will have to intervene before anyone may sign contracts, pay bills, sign a deed to transfer property, or decide other important matters. A Power of Attorney may be needed for the guardian to get access to joint accounts and conduct other business that is necessary when a person becomes incapacitated. If someone becomes disabled without a power of attorney form at hand, the parent, relative, or interested party must begin expensive and lengthy legal proceedings to be appointed as guardian of the incapacitated person. Guardianship proceedings typically cost thousands of dollars. The importance of a Power of Attorney is that, by creating a durable power of attorney before incapacity, a proceeding to establish guardianship can usually be avoided and the designated agent can usually act as representative for the incapacitated person in most situations.

There are two types of Power of Attorney forms: one for durable power and one for medical decisions. Skillern Law Firm can help you create both at a fraction of the cost of a guardianship proceeding. Call the Skillern Law Firm, PLLC today to talk about your estate planning needs.

Also, check out the last blog post about  in terrorem clauses.

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