From the Estate Planning, Probate & Trusts Practice.
Although we hate to admit it, we’re all getting older. As time goes on, those trips to the bank get more inconvenient or downright difficult. Some day we will be unable or unwilling to take care of our business or financial matters, and will ask a spouse, trusted relative or friend to take care of them for us.
Since we may become incapacitated at any time, it’s wise to anticipate the need, and sign a power of attorney, granting authority to a person of your choice to step in and handle legal, banking and investment matters on your behalf. Under local state laws, these powers can be made “durable” so that they remain in effect even if you later become legally incompetent (although they can be revoked at any time as long as you are competent). Although it creates no tax savings, a power of appointment can avoid the need for a costly and embarrassing guardianship proceeding. We recommend them especially for anyone who is preparing a will, anticipating surgery, or planning an extended trip.