Estate Planning and Business Law

Benefits of Having a Comprehensive Durable Power of Attorney

It is so important to have a detailed and comprehensive durable power of attorney.

Unfortunately many durable powers of attorney are too general and cause problems, especially for seniors.

Before a durable power of attorney is drafted, the designation of an honest and dependable agent is key. Agency law governs an agent’s actions under a durable power of attorney. Agency law includes court decisions and laws that have grown over the ages and dictate what an agent can do on behalf of a principal – the person who appointed the agent.

Do not overlook making the power of attorney durable. California has “durability” laws that allow principals to include in their powers of attorney a declaration that the powers the principal is granting will not become invalid if later the principal has a mental incapacity.

So what are the main benefits of a well drafted durable power of attorney:

  • The ability to designate who will make decisions for you when you are unable to do so. This way a court will not make that decision for you;
  • Avoids the necessity of a conservatorship;
  • Allows family members a chance to discuss their wishes and desires;
  • The more comprehensive the durable power of attorney -- the better;
  • Prevents any issues regarding the principal’s intent;
  • Prevents delays in asset protection planning;
  • Protects the agent from financial abuse claims;
  • Allows the agent to talk to other agencies;
  • Allows an agent to plan to make the principal eligible for public benefits; and last – but not least --
  • Provides peace of mind

A comprehensive, well drafted durable power of attorney will save on legal costs, time and stress on family members who would have to go to court to get authority to perform simple tasks like writing a check.

The durable power of attorney is as important as a living trust.

The experienced and compassionate attorneys of Blackwell, Santaella & Jahangiri, LLP, in San Ramon and the tri valley area that includes Danville, Dublin and Pleasanton, can assist you with this important document.

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