General Durable Power of Attorney, also referred to as a Financial Power of Attorney Can be one of the most, if not The Most Important foundational document in your estate planning arsenal.
A general durable power of attorney is general in the sense that it covers benefits applications, access to accounts, pay the bills, deal with real estate transactions.
Really anything you can do financially, the other person is able to do for you. Your agent. We're going to call that person your agent.
It's a very important document, because should I become incompetent or incapacitated, heaven forbid. If I did, how would I deal with my accounts, my bills?
How would I deal with my retirement accounts, my real estate? I would have to appoint an agent to handle that before I became incompetent or incapacitated.
And if I didn't, the only way that my loved one, let's say my spouse, my wife, could handle those things for me or access those things, or even some are home or maybe a piece of land that we own.
Only way that she could get my signature on it is to petition the court to make her guardian over my money and property. If she did that, then the court would have a say so over anything she wanted to do with my assets.
That may or may not be what I would want. It may not be in line with our plans. What the court would want may not be in line with our plans.
A general durable or a financial power of attorney can allow you also to qualify for certain benefits like long-term care, Medicaid benefits, to pay for assisted living or nursing home care.
Which can be extremely costly and cause a couple, for instance, to sacrifice lots of benefits or lots of assets.
So to qualify for that benefit, you would want to be able to protect those assets, there's ways to do that. But if I haven't done that, prior to becoming incompetent or incapacitated, then I run the risk of putting those...
How about I put those assets at risk. Or I run the risk of losing those assets or having to simply spend out all those assets on my care.
Which I might want my wife at this point to be able to live, qualify me for a benefit and raise our children, and send them to college.
Those things are important. All that hinges on if I have put in place and general durable power of attorney, which we're going to help you do.
I'd like to also add that in addition to you filling out the forms and submitting those to our office, for us to work on your general durable power of attorney.
Also have any questions, call us or email us.
We will walk you through them.
And we'll do so by phone call in person or video conference.
Thank you and have a great day.