Powers of Attorney for Property

As the result of old age, illness, or accident, an individual may become unable to handle his or her own finances.  The power of attorney for property allows an individual to act as an agent for the disabled individual, pay the disabled person’s bills and make other financial decisions.

A power of attorney for property should be used in conjunction with a living trust in most cases.  It can be used to transfer property to the trust during an individual’s disability or incapacity.  A power of attorney for finances can restrict an agent’s use to sell real estate, ability to alter an estate plan, ability to change beneficiaries on retirement accounts and a number of other issues.  It is very important to select an agent who is trustworthy and financially responsible.

By planning for disability, guardianship proceedings can be avoided.  Litigation pertaining to guardianship has been on the rise.  Guardianship is a court procedure where an individual is appointed to handle another person’s finances and/or healthcare.  These proceedings are very time-consuming, expensive and often cause irreparable damage between family members.