To some people estate planning is all about drafting a will. Of course, a will is the most common component of an estate plan, so one cannot blame these individuals for having such thoughts.
Estate planning involves several plans and set up, and that is why you must involve an estate planning attorney Buffalo, NY, if you want to make a good estate plan. I understand that there are other means of making an estate plan other than leveraging the services of an estate planning attorney.
However, one things you must understand about these alternative is that, they are not always effective in some circumstances. Of course, you may say that planning your via online tools is cost-effective, and sometimes effectual. But, before you decide to leverage such option, you need to understand the circumstances surrounding your estate.
Important Estate Planning Documents
An estate plan is made with the help of some important estate planning documents. Some of these documents are:
- Power of attorney
- Letter of intent
- Health care power of attorney
- Guardianship designations
Of course, only a few estate owners are aware of these documents. In fact, there are people out there who believe that estate planning is all about writing a will and giving it to a lawyer whose job is to read the will to family members and loved ones after their death. Estate planning is more than that.
Aside from a will and a trust, one of the most important estate planning legal document you would want to have is a power of attorney. What is a power of attorney?
Before we take a look at what a power of attorney is, let’s refresh our brain on the topic of estate planning.
What is Estate Planning?
Estate planning is a household name. In several parts of the world, individuals plan their estate to secure or transfer their assets/ wealth to their heir. With that said, what does estate planning entail? Estate planning is a plan done in anticipation of an individual’s death or incapacitation. The planning includes the transfer of assets to heirs, the payment of unpaid debts, the settlement of estate taxes, etc. Most estate plans are created with the help of an estate planning attorney.
If you reside in Buffalo, NY, and you need an estate plan, don’t hesitate to contact an estate planning attorney Buffalo, NY, for your estate plan.
Having known what estate planning is, let’s take a good look at what a power of attorney is.
What is a Power of Attorney?
A POA or power of attorney is a legal document that gives an individual (the agent or attorney-in-fact) the rights to make decisions for another individual (principal). The attorney-in-fact may be given full authority or limited authority to make legal decisions regarding the principal’s assets, finances, or medical care. The POA is usually used when the principal becomes incapacitated or when he is unable to make some decisions himself.
A POA can is not infinite, it can be terminated for several reasons. These reasons are:
- The death of the principal
- When the principal cancels the POA
- When the court deems it as invalid
- When the principal divorces their spouse, who is the agent
- When the agency cannot execute the stated responsibilities
Modern power of attorneys ends when the creator becomes incapacitated. However, a durable POA remains active to ensure that the creator’s affairs are well managed by the agent. The springing POA comes into effect only if and when the principal of the POA becomes disabled. On the other hand, a medical or healthcare power of attorney enables an individual to make medical decisions on behalf of the principal or creator.
How does Power of Attorney Work?
You can purchase or download a POA template. If you do, ensure that it is for New York City, as the requirements are different for each states. Purchasing a POA is one thing, understanding what the form entails and filling it appropriately is another this. So, the best way to go about this is to hire an attorney who specializes in family law in Buffalo, NY. If the cost of hiring an attorney is too much for you to bear, legal services offices filled with credentialed lawyers are present in virtually all parts of the United States. Simply visit the Legal Services Corporation’s site, which has a “Find Legal Aid” search tab.