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Five reasons you need a power of attorney for property

By Lisa Laredo

Power of attorney (POA) documents are incredibly important. Without them, should you no longer be mentally or physically capable of making decisions on your own, the courts and/or governments determine what happens to you and your property, and who gets to make those decisions.

In a previous post, we looked at the reasons for needing a POA for personal care. Here’s why you need a POA for property as well.

1. You need someone to be able to access your bank account: No one can access your bank account (even your own spouse) unless you draft a POA for property. Someone needs access if only to ensure your bills get paid.

2. You want to maintain control over your finances: A POA allows you to set limits on your chosen attorney’s spending abilities and powers. Without one, a court could give someone full access to all of your property, leaving you with no control over how your money is managed.

3. You care about your family: Without a POA, your loved ones may incur legal expenses simply to determine who would be recognized as your legal guardian.

4. You need to take care of your family: A POA can go beyond your own care to ensure your financial obligations to your children or other family members are honoured, including necessary expenditures for their care and/or education.

5. You want peace of mind: For the same reason you write a will, a POA plans for the future and whatever unexpected events that future may bring. In order to write one, you must be legally mentally capable at the time you sign it. Which means, if you don’t have a signed POA when you actually need it, you may not be deemed legally capable of drafting and consenting to one.

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