Power of Attorney
What is Power of Attorney?
A Power of Attorney is a document in which you give another person the power to act as you, but only while you are alive. That person becomes an "agent" acting on your behalf. The agent you grant power of attorney to is someone you trust to act on your behalf when you cannot make decisions for yourself. You also need a backup agent, known as a successor agent. It is a legal document that allows a loved one - a spouse, a child, a friend, to act as if they were you to care for your legal and financial affairs. NYS is very strict when it comes improperly prepared POA documents. When you prepare one yourself, without the aid of an attorney, it will probably not be honored by the financial provider.
What happens if there is no Power of Attorney?
It's too late! If you can no longer make decisions for yourself, and if there is no Power of Attorney, no one can take action on your behalf. Banks, DMV, credit card companies, and other institutions will not honor anyone trying to act on your behalf.
Without a Power of Attorney, your loved ones would need to spend a lot of time and money in Guardianship Court and wait as long as a year for a judge to appoint a Guardian. The cost can reach into thousands of dollars.
When is the right time to prepare a Power of Attorney document?
The right time to prepare a Power of Attorney document is when you are still of sound mind and body. Once you are no longer capable of caring for your own affairs, you are also not capable of preparing the Power of Attorney document with an attorney. Accidents and unexpected illness happen to the young, the aged, and those who don't expect it. The time to act is now.
To protect your interests, and life and death issues, and the interests of your loved ones, you need at least four documents:
* Durable Power of Attorney
LET'S MOVE FORWARD!
Gather up all the documents you can find including bank statements, 401K papers, home and automobile titles, and any other documents you can locate. Then contact Keith Weidman to schedule an appointment.
Let my 35 years of experience put your mind at ease.
Keith Weidman, Esq.