“We all have concerns about the future.”
So says an established Louisiana legal source on estate planning, which duly reminds readers that timely and soundly crafted estate documents can comprehensively address key life concerns.
Those concerns are myriad and varied for individuals and families, and they grow as time goes by. A planning focus will frequently and logically center on wealth transfer to loved ones. It will spotlight things like inheritances, asset protection, lawful tax avoidance, family legacy considerations, health care matters and more.
An overriding question arises for any planner contemplating those important matters.
That is this: How can I exercise personal control when it comes to key decisions being made concerning key estate concerns?
Put another way: Are there steps I can take to ensure that matters important to me and my loved ones aren’t ultimately decided by an outside party/entity, such as a judge making formal rulings via a court-directed process?
Powers of attorney promote estate planning peace of mind
Consider an outcome where a planner suddenly becomes incapacitated and cannot make important decisions concerning finances and/or health care. If there is no contingency plan in place to address that reality, loved ones and other concerned parties are likely to be left in limbo, confronted by fear and uncertainty about how to proceed.
An executed power of attorney (POA) can provide clarity and fill the void.
The meaningful role that POAs can play in an estate plan
In a nutshell, a POA’s utility comes from a planner’s designation of a trusted agent empowered to make important decisions for the planner if he or she becomes incapacitated. These two key POA types often emerge as central in the estate planning context:
- durable financial power of attorney
- health care/medical power of attorney (sometimes termed an advance directive)
It is immediately important to note that a planner’s POA execution does not imply a loss of personal power. Total control attaches to the selection of an agent entrusted to make decisions, and that person’s scope of authority to act can be precisely addressed.
Having well-considered powers of attorney in place can broadly promote peace of mind for both a planner and family members. A proven estate planning legal team can help ensure that POA documents are suitably tailored, tightly executed and fully aligned with relevant state requirements.