how does a power of attorney work in probate?

how does a power of attorney work in probate?

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A power of attorney is Powerful document by which you appoint an agent – called an attorney-in-fact – to make financial decisions on your behalf. This is used very useful in incapacity planning so that you would have someone to manage your affairs if you become unable to do so. The person named in the Power of Attorney document would step in at the right time to make decisions for you or anyone you wish.

During probate proceedings certain decisions would be required to make by persons placed in charge of your estate. Usually, the executor named may take sole responsibility of making these decisions. However, the estate executor’s role differ slightly from what a power of attorney does.

An executor is the individual named in a person’s will to take responsibility of managing their estate and disbursing it when the testator passes away. When the testator dies, the executor has to take the will to court for validation because handling someone’s estate has to be legal. Once the court receives the will, probate commences.

Power of attorney before probate

Probate is a legal process where the will of a deceased gets validated by the probate court before its instructions can be carried out. From the moment the will is taken to court and the moment the estate is distributed, there are certain activities that must be carried out by the executor. These activities are what we refer to as the roles of the executor during the probate process.

Power of attorney on the other provides authorization for any named individual to make certain decisions for you. The named person can act as a financial advisor, healthcare management, or generally oversee your estate properties till probate commences.

Create health care directives

A health care directive can protect you in the event that you aren’t able to make certain health decisions yourself.  This document is an important component of estate planning, thus, when creating an estate plan it is crucial that you state your wishes for health care.

A health care directive comes with a health care declaration, which is also known as a living will, Including a power of attorney for health care which gives someone designated by you the right to make those medical decisions for you.

Types of power of attorney

  • Durable power of attorney

This Power Of Attorney document goes into effect as at when created, and lasts beyond incapacity. That is, your agent will continue making decisions for you even when you become incapacitated.

  • Springing power of attorney

This Power Of Attorney document only goes into effect the moment you are declared legally incapacitated. As such any form of probate would not be necessary n choosing a guardian or conservator.

  • Medical power of attorney

The medical Power Of Attorney is also known as a healthcare proxy. In this Power of Attorney document, your agent is only authorized to make healthcare decisions for you rather than fiscal ones.

  • Financial power of attorney

A financial power of attorney provides you with the opportunity to give a trusted person the right to oversee your finances and properties in the event that you become incapacitated. The person chosen is usually regarded as an agent or an attorney-in-fact. It is not necessary that you select an attorney as your attorney-in-fact. You can simply select someone who is genuine, familiar with your family, and trustworthy.

  • General power of attorney

This Power Of Attorney document, allows your attorney-in-fact authority over your financial, healthcare, and personal affairs.

Bottom line

As you get older, you may be worried that someday you may become unable to handle your own personal affairs, let alone the financial ones. But what if you’re told you could make plans towards that now? Yes, you could lay down instructions now to ensure that your affairs are managed by someone of your choosing. A power of attorney helps you achieve that.

By creating a power of attorney document, you would have a say even when you can’t make decisions due to Alzheimer’s or dementia and any life threatening situations.

DISCLAIMER: The information provided in this blog is for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. The content of this blog may not reflect the most current legal developments. No attorney-client relationship is formed by reading this blog or contacting Morgan Legal Group.

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