Powers of Attorney Lawyer in Farmington Hills, Michigan
There may be times when you need to make a decision or sign something, but you are unable to do so. You may not be in the necessary physical location, you may be unconscious, or you may be mentally incapable of handling your own affairs.
Fortunately, there is a legal way your business can be carried out even if you can’t make decisions for yourself. A well-crafted, legally enforceable, and fully-executed power of attorney is the tool you need to make that happen. There is an appropriate one for virtually every possible circumstance.
Estate planning attorney Steven L. Rotenberg has been helping clients in Bingham Farms, Michigan, execute the powers of attorney they need for more than 20 years. His firm, Steven L. Rotenberg, PLLC, also proudly provides estate planning services to clients in Monroe, Mount Clemens, Pontiac, and near the Detroit area.
What Exactly Are Powers of Attorney?
A power of attorney is an instrument in which you authorize someone to be your agent or attorney-in-fact, acting in your stead for certain activities. Those activities can include selling property, signing checks, making deposits into your accounts, paying your bills, buying insurance, or any other routine or singular activity you need to conduct. The agent’s actions are as legally binding as they would be had you performed them yourself.
There are three types of powers of attorney:
A general power of attorney takes immediate effect and grants the agent broad powers to conduct business in your stead. Although the breadth of authority granted is large, your agent is prohibited from doing certain things, such as voting for you, creating or revising your will, or altering the power of attorney itself. Your agent also cannot act in a professional capacity for you. If, for example, you are a certified public accountant, your agent cannot prepare your clients’ taxes and sign as the preparer.
A limited power of attorney grants authority for your agent to act only on specific activities and during a specific time. For example, if you will be out of the country and cannot conduct the sale of real property electronically during your absence, you can execute a limited power of attorney to authorize an attorney-in-fact to do so on your behalf. Only those powers granted in a limited power of attorney can be executed by your agent.
A durable power of attorney remains in effect even if you are incapacitated or incompetent. If a power of attorney is not specified as “durable,” the power ends when you are no longer mentally capable of making decisions. That is why, for example, a durable power of attorney for healthcare allows your agent to consult with your doctor and make decisions about your medical care and treatment when you are no longer capable of having that conversation.
Why Are Powers of Attorney Important to Have?
Powers of attorney are important because they allow you to decide who makes decisions and handles your affairs for you when you want or need them to. Without a power of attorney, a court may decide who makes those decisions. If you want to choose your agent, you need to execute powers of attorney while you possess the mental capacity to do so.
What Should I Consider When Choosing an Agent?
The agent you name in a power of attorney does not need to be a lawyer, although you can name a lawyer to act in that capacity.
The major consideration in choosing an agent is trust. This person will be making critical decisions, some of which are literally life-or-death decisions. Your financial health and physical well-being may rest in your agent’s hands.
You should also consider someone you believe will make decisions aligned with your priorities, beliefs, and philosophies. You want your agent to act as you would have had you been able to do so for yourself.
Powers of Attorney Lawyer
Serving Bingham Farms, Michigan
As an estate planning attorney in Bingham Farms, Michigan, Steven L. Rotenberg has guided hundreds of clients in creating powers of attorney. The decisions about the powers and persons you authorize are yours alone to make. He will provide the information you need to make this decision a wise one.
If you are ready to talk about powers of attorney as part of your estate plan, call Steven L. Rotenberg, PLLC now to schedule a visit.