Powers of Attorney Lawyers in Reading, Pennsylvania
As an adult, you must get your affairs in order and make suitable plans for future uncertainties. A power of attorney (POA) is an important estate planning tool that allows you to name a person who will make crucial decisions regarding your health, property, or financial matters on your behalf when you become unable or unavailable to do so.
If you're starting to think about estate planning or need proper guidance with choosing a power of attorney, consulting with a knowledgeable Pennsylvania estate planning attorney is crucial. At Curran Estate & Elder Law, PLLC, we are committed to providing experienced legal counsel and reliable advocacy to clients in estate planning-related matters, including wills, trusts, and powers of attorney.
As your legal counsel, we can evaluate your unique situation and enlighten you about the types of POA and the importance of having a power of attorney as part of your estate plan. Also, our trusted attorneys can help you draft your power of attorney documents and ensure that you choose a reliable person as your agent.
Curran Estate & Elder Law, PLLC proudly serves clients in Reading, Pennsylvania, and throughout Berks County and the neighboring counties of Chester, Montgomery, Schuylkill, Lebanon, and Lancaster.
What is a Power of Attorney?
A power of attorney (POA) is a legal document that grants specific legal authority and powers to another person you trust. Under Pennsylvania law, a power of attorney is a legal document that allows a person to appoint another person to make financial, property, or health decisions and perform specific duties on their behalf.
The person who creates a POA document is known as the principal. The person named in the POA document to act on behalf of the principal is the "attorney-in-fact" or "agent." The agent may be a spouse, child, trusted friend, or close family member. With a valid power of attorney, your attorney-in-fact will have the legal authority to carry out any action allowed in the document.
Types of Power of Attorney
There are several different powers of attorney recognized in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. These include:
Durable Power of Attorney
A durable power of attorney allows the agent to act on behalf of the principal on various matters, including financial and healthcare decisions. The durable power of attorney shall become effective once the principal and the agent sign the document. Also, it doesn't terminate when the principal becomes incapacitated.
Simple Power of Attorney
A simple or non-durable power of attorney is a power of attorney that allows the attorney-in-fact to act on the principal's behalf on different matters. However, the simple power of attorney ends once the principal becomes incapacitated or disabled.
Financial Power of Attorney
A financial power of attorney is a power of attorney that allows the agent to handle financial or business matters on behalf of the principal.
Healthcare Power of Attorney
A healthcare power of attorney is a power of attorney that allows the attorney-in-fact to make medical or health care decisions on behalf of the principal when they're unable to do so.
Springing Power of Attorney
A springing power of attorney is a power of attorney that only becomes effective at a particular date or when an event occurs in the future, as indicated in the POA document.
However, unless the document specifically states otherwise, all powers of attorney are durable in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Why is a Power of Attorney Important?
Having power of attorney as part of your estate plan is vital due to the following reasons:
It allows you to appoint a reliable person who can help manage your financial and medical affairs.
It eliminates the need for the court to appoint a legal guardian or conservator for you.
All activities and transactions performed by the attorney-in-fact will remain private. Thus, maintaining your and your loved one's privacy.
It eliminates any form of delay when there is a need to perform urgent tasks or make decisions.
It allows you to discuss your wishes and desires with close family members.
It allows the attorney-in-fact to reach out to other agencies to obtain information about the principal or provide services to them.
It eliminates possible questions or doubts about the principal's intent.
It helps every party involved achieve peace of mind.
An experienced attorney can enlighten you about important considerations when choosing your agent and help you navigate crucial decisions.
Considerations When Choosing a Power of Attorney
However, it is critical that you choose a reliable and honest person who has your best interests at heart as your attorney-in-fact. Here are some essential factors to consider when a power of attorney:
Consider your relationship with the person
Consider the person's willingness to serve
Consider conflict of interests
Consider proximity or closeness to your location
Choose someone who is trustworthy and reliable
Choose a person who knows your intent and will make your best interests a priority.
Choose a person who will put your needs and wishes first
Choose a person who is able to make prompt and intelligent decisions when under strenuous circumstances.
An experienced power of attorney lawyer can work diligently with you to ensure that you choose an agent who is right for you.
Work With an Experienced Estate Planning Attorney
Making adequate plans for an uncertain future can never be too early. In the event that you become incapacitated, unavailable, or otherwise unable to make important decisions on your own, you can have the confidence and peace of mind that your life choices, health, property, and financial affairs are in dependable hands. An experienced estate planning attorney can evaluate your personal needs and help you navigate crucial decisions.
At Curran Estate & Elder Law, PLLC, our attorneys have devoted their careers to offering experienced legal services and guiding clients through the complexities of estate planning and powers of attorney. As your legal counsel, we can guide you through the process, help draft important documents, and attempt to establish an estate plan that best suits your goals.
Powers of Attorney Lawyers Serving Reading, Pennsylvania
If you need assistance choosing a power of attorney, contact Curran Estate & Elder Law, PLLC today to schedule a simple consultation. Our trusted attorneys have the personalized legal counsel and brilliant advocacy you need and help you make intelligent decisions. We're proud to serve clients in Reading, Pennsylvania, and throughout Berks County and the neighboring counties of Chester, Montgomery, Schuylkill, Lebanon, and Lancaster.