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The Importance of a Power of Attorney

Without a comprehensive power of attorney (POA), a lot of men and women cannot handle the financial affairs of their nearest and dearest, nor make health care decisions without court intervention (conservatorship and guardianship). Unfortunately, it continues to be our experience that many folks, including financial advisors, accountants and even some attorneys don't understand what one is and why it is so important to get one. Clients frequently come into our office supposing, just cause they are married or are a joint owner of resources, they can sell or transfer assets. In fact, a present client is unable to market his mother's home cause she never signed a durable power of attorney.

You will find lasting powers of attorney that authorize your representative to make decisions for you regarding monetary issues and health care powers of attorney which permit your agent to make decisions regarding your health needs.

military divorce attorney can be broad in scope, providing your agent the capacity to make all financial choices for you (a General Durable POA) or you could limit your agents authority by defining the kinds of financial decisions you will permit them to make (a Limited Durable POA). You may also prefer to give your broker the instant authority to make decisions on your behalf (a Durable POA) or you can restrict your agents authority to act only when you become incompetent (a Springing POA).

What is a Guardianship and Conservatorship?

Guardianship is a legal relationship where the court gives a person (the guardian) authority to make personal decisions (medical, housing, etc.) for the following (the ward). A proceeding is initiated by filing a petition in the probate court. A written statement by a physician may be necessary to establish the ward's incapacity. The court then decides whether a guardian is required due to this ward lacking the required mental capacity to make private decisions. Unless restricted by the court, the guardian has the same rights as parents have over their minor children. The guardian is required to report yearly to the court regarding the condition of the ward.

A conservator is a legal relationship where the probate court gives a person (the conservator) that the capacity to make financial decisions for another. The court proceeding are much like the ones of a guardianship except the court is deciding whether the person has the ability to handle their financial affairs. A conservator is also required to submit an annual accounting documenting (with confirmation) all of the earnings and expenses incurred each year. A surety bond (an insurance policy) is frequently required by the court to protect against the conservator engaging in any improper usage of the person's assets.

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