A power of attorney is a very powerful legal tool that can help you to protect both your family and your autonomy. If you have created a power of attorney, you have taken a positive step towards protecting yourself and your assets, no matter what the future brings. If you don’t yet have a power of attorney, Biddinger, Bitzer, Estelle & Rastigue, PLLC can help.
Our Northern Michigan power of attorney lawyers provide comprehensive assistance with everything you need to know about a power of attorney. We help you to create a power of attorney, to explore other solutions to incapacity planning, and to act upon the authority given to you if you’ve been named as an agent in a power of attorney. To find out more, give us a call at 989-872-5601. We can provide you with personalized advice on powers of attorney and answer questions including:
- What is a power of attorney?
- Why do you need a power of attorney?
- How can a Northern Michigan lawyer help with a power of attorney?
What is a Power of Attorney?
A power of attorney is a legal document that you create. The document allows you to give someone else the legal authority to act as your agent or attorney in fact. When someone is an agent or attorney in fact, they act on your behalf. If they sign a contract, it is as if you signed the contract. If they sell property that belongs to you, it is as if you sold the property.
There are different kinds of powers of attorney. Sometimes, if you have to be away and need to sign papers, you can give someone limited power of attorney to sign those particular papers on your behalf. You can also create a general power of attorney which gives someone authority to act on your behalf in all legal matters and when managing all of your affairs. A general power of attorney is a powerful estate planning tool, because you can name an agent who is going to be able to take over acting on your behalf if something happens to you.
Incapacity is a real risk which could occur at any time. If you become incapacitated but have created a durable power of attorney with help from an experienced lawyer, there will be no worries about how your assets are managed during that difficult time.
Why Do You Need a Power of Attorney?
You need a power of attorney because if you don’t have one, your family and your property could suffer if something happens to you. If you have not named an agent by creating a power of attorney, your assets could be left with no one in charge if you become sick or injured. Your property could lose its value quickly if no one is taking care of it or managing it.
Your family, faced with the loss of your property, would have to go to court at the very time when they are also coping with you being badly hurt or very ill. They would need to initiate guardianship proceedings and convince the court of your incapacity status. The court would then appoint someone to manage assets and manage your affairs.
The guardianship proceedings can be time consuming and complicated, which is stressful at a time when your family does not need stress. The proceedings could also end with someone who you don’t want in charge of your assets being vested with the authority to act for you. This outcome is undesirable for everyone involved and can be avoided if you simply create a power of attorney.
You can also make the choice to create a power of attorney for healthcare, which would allow you to name someone to make medical decisions for you if you cannot do so any more. This not only spares you and your family worries about who will make financial choices, but it also ensures you can choose a trusted person to make your most personal and important medical decisions.
How Can a Northern Michigan Lawyer Help You With a Power of Attorney?
Biddinger, Bitzer, Estelle & Rastigue, PLLC provides invaluable assistance in creating a power of attorney. We also help if you have been named an agent and want assistance in fulfilling the important responsibilities you have been entrusted with. If you live in Cass City, Bad Axe, Caro, Deckerville, Reese, and surrounding areas throughout Michigan, we are here for you. Give us a call at 989-872-5601 or contact us online to find out more.