A durable power of attorney is an integral document that belongs as part of a comprehensive estate planning package. If you are considering your estate plan and have questions about the necessity of the durable power of attorney, a Bronx estate planning lawyer can provide a number of reasons why this document is absolutely necessary and can save you from preventable expense and hardship later. What’s more, the durable power of attorney creates a convenient mechanism for your agents to handle your affairs if you are out of the country or unavailable to take care of a time-sensitive matter.
Benefits of a Durable Power of Attorney
A power of attorney creates a principal-agent relationship, allowing the agent to handle financial and legal matters on behalf of the principal at the principal’s direction. The term “durable” refers to the fact that the power of attorney survives past the point of incompetency in the principal, thereby alleviating the need to petition for a guardianship over the principal once he or she is no longer able to make decisions. With a durable power of attorney in hand, an agent (which is often a spouse or a trusted child) can handle the day-to-day affairs of the principal, as well as make large-scale sales or purchases on behalf of the principal.
Bronx Estate Planning Attorneys Discuss the Fiduciary Relationship
One reason many people are hesitant to execute a durable power of attorney is the worry that the agent may begin to engage in transactions without their knowledge or direction. Of course, the first step in avoiding this scenario is selecting a trusted agent that is not likely to engage in misconduct with the power of attorney. Secondly, the principal is protected by the fiduciary relationship that is created by a durable power of attorney, which mandates that any actions taken using the power of attorney must be either at the principal’s direction (if competent) or in the principal’s best interests. If an agent begins committing acts with the power of attorney that are not in the principal’s best interests or are not at the principal’s direction, the agent will face significant personal liability.
Contact an Experienced Bronx Estate Planning Lawyer
If you are interested in discussing the benefits of a durable power of attorney, please contact a Bronx estate planning lawyer like Evan Rogers by calling 718-994-1640 today.