An estate plan is a wonderful tool that encompasses various documents of authority such as a power of attorney, a will and more. A power of attorney, also known as a letter of attorney, is a written authorization to represent or act for another person. In order to have a valid power of attorney, two conditions must be met. The first one is to have the person granting authority sign the document, granting power of attorney. This is only able to met if the person granting authority meets this second, mandatory condition. That condition is that the person granting authority is mentally capable of making the signing. This means if someone’s cognitive faculties have diminished or are incapacitated, they cannot sign the document.
Fortunately, there’s another way in which authority to act on behalf of someone can be granted. A guardianship granted by a court of law appoints and authorizes someone to look over the life of another person. Becoming a guardian means you must make decisions for another person. Usually, these are important life-based decisions. It can include deciding where someone lives, what medicine they take and more. If an individual’s cognitive faculties have indeed diminished, and no power of attorney exists, a guardian will need to be appointed to act on the person’s behalf.
As mentioned, an estate plan is a great tool to prepare before one’s passing and even better to have in the case of incapacity. That’s why we recommend that you create an estate plan as soon as possible, before there’s any chance of cognitive diminishment or incapacitation. Another thing to consider is that with a guardianship, the court will be involved with your life on a frequent basis. It can be tedious, but it might be the only option you have.
The Probate Pro has estate planning attorneys to help prepare documents such as power of attorney, as well as guardianship attorneys, who can work with you and your loved one in need of a guardian. If you have any questions related to power of attorney or guardianships, call us today at (877) YOUR-FIRM.