Power of Attorney

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Integral to lifetime planning

New Leaf Legacy will walk you through the important aspects of this document giving one or more persons the power to act on your behalf as your agent. The power may be limited to a particular activity, such as closing the sale of your home, or be more general. The power may give temporary or permanent authority to act on your behalf. The power may take effect immediately, or only upon the occurrence of a future event, usually a determination that you are unable to act for yourself due to mental or physical disability. A power of attorney may be revoked, but most states require written notice of revocation to the person named to act for you.

The person named in a power of attorney to act on your behalf is commonly referred to as your “agent” or “attorney-in-fact.” With a valid power of attorney, your agent can take any action permitted in the document. Often your agent must present the actual document to invoke the power.

Why would you grant someone this authority? One answer is convenience. If you are contracting assets and do not wish to appear in person, you may take advantage of a power of attorney. Another important reason to use power of attorney is to prepare for situations when you may not be able to act on your own behalf due to absence or incapacity. Such a disability may be temporary, for example, due to travel, accident, or illness, or it may be permanent.

Who Should Be Your Agent?

You may wish to choose a family member to act on your behalf. Many people name their spouses or one or more children. In naming more than one person to act as agent at the same time, be alert to the possibility that all may not be available to act when needed, or they may not agree. The designation of co-agents should indicate whether you wish to have the majority act in the absence of full availability and agreement. Regardless of whether you name co-agents, you should always name one or more successor agents to address the possibility that the person you name as agent may be unavailable or unable to act when the time comes.

If you do not have a power of attorney and become unable to manage your personal or business affairs, it may become necessary for a court to appoint one or more people to act for you. People appointed in this manner are referred to as guardians, conservators, or committees. If a court proceeding, sometimes known as intervention, is needed, you may not have the ability to choose the person who will act for you. A power of attorney allows you to choose who will act for you and defines his or her authority and its limits. In some instances, greater security against having a guardianship imposed on you may be achieved by you also creating a revocable living trust.

Suzy is very friendly, polite and easy to communicate with. Being knowledgeable and up-to-date with Estate Law, she is very adroit in combining the law with her client’s wishes. The result is a well-thought-out and understandable Will or Estate Plan. The result is the client’s piece of mind, knowing that “all is well.

M.

Suzy guided me through the many elements of my Estate Plan with compassion for my needs when there were difficulties. I would recommend Suzy with no hesitation.

V.