People of all ages and health statuses who are starting to think about estate planning may have heard of the concept of a power of attorney and would like to know more about the role. According to a recent survey from the AARP, a little over half of adults in the U.S. have a power of attorney in place, with 83% of people over the age of 72 having one in place — compared to just 41% of millennials.
There are a few considerations that must be taken into account when it comes to choosing a power of attorney, and having an experienced attorney guide you through the process can help you better understand how it works and the benefits that having one in place can provide.
Estate planning attorney John L. Shaw’s passion for advising others as they prepare for the future is what led him to pursue a career as an estate planning attorney. With over 40 years of legal experience, John has helped countless clients prepare for their future through strategic estate plans that include powers of attorney documents.
No matter what your estate planning needs may be, John is proud to do whatever he can to help guide you through the process, answer all of your questions, and help you protect what matters most. His firm, John L. Shaw, Attorney at Law, is proud to serve clients in Temple City, California, and the surrounding areas of Pasadena, Arcadia, Rosemead, and Alhambra.
Under California State law, powers of attorney provide someone, typically known as your agent, the authority to handle legal or financial matters for you under specific circumstances. These circumstances often involve being sick or otherwise incapacitated, rendering you unable to make these decisions for yourself.
There are three different powers of attorney in California that you can establish:
General - A general (or durable) power of attorney gives your agent the right to handle a wide variety of financial matters for you. This is the broadest type of power of attorney.
Limited - A limited (or specific) power of attorney is a more narrow scope than the general power of attorney. With this option, your agent is able to act for you only on specific matters that you define in the document.
Healthcare - A healthcare power of attorney deals directly with healthcare decisions. If you become incapacitated, your agent has the right to make healthcare decisions on your behalf, such as whether or not to maintain life support or make certain choices about treatment options.
Establishing a power of attorney is important for a few reasons. The main one is to provide protection for yourself, your health, and your assets. Assigning a power of attorney allows you to choose who is in control if something happens to you or you need someone else to step in and make those decisions in the event that you are unable to. Establishing a power of attorney allows you to give that power to someone that you trust who you know will look out for your best interests.
When choosing a power of attorney, there are a few factors that you may want to consider:
Trustworthiness - As you are trusting this person with financial, legal, and health decisions on your behalf, you want to make sure that you appoint someone that you can truly trust to make decisions that are in your best interest.
Location - Having someone who lives close to you is convenient for when they are needed to make decisions. If, for example, you become incapacitated, it may be difficult if your agent lives across the country and has to fly in to make medical decisions on your behalf for weeks or months at a time.
Knowledge & Understanding - The person that you choose should understand the role that they play. The more knowledge that your agent has about the health, financial, and any other duties that you are assigning to them, the more prepared they can be to make those decisions, should the time ever arrive.
Assertiveness - It’s always a good idea to appoint someone who can be assertive in the face of tough decisions. Many of these decisions may not be easy to make, so it’s important to have someone who won’t have any trouble make a tough choice when it comes to respecting your wishes.
At the end of the day, an estate planning attorney can help guide you through the process of choosing a reliable power of attorney. Your attorney can not only help you fill out the necessary paperwork and get everything filed, but they can also help you figure out who has the necessary characteristics that are best suited for the role.
For over 40 years, John L. Shaw has been serving clients in Temple City, California, and the surrounding areas of Pasadena, Arcadia, Rosemead, and Alhambra, California. His extensive knowledge and tireless dedication to his clients go a long way towards helping you reach the resolution that you need to ensure that everything within your estate is in order. Don’t face these challenges on your own. Call or reach out to Attorney John L. Shaw today for a one-on-one consultation.
John L. Shaw, Attorney at Law is proud to assist clients in Temple City, California and the surrounding areas of Pasadena, Arcadia, Rosemead, and Alhambra, California with a variety of estate planning tools including powers of attorney. If you are looking for reliable legal guidance, attorney John L. Shaw can guide you through each step of the process and work with you to ensure you are prepared for the future. Call or reach out today to schedule a consultation!