When it comes to estate planning, there are two types of power of attorney documents that you may need. The first is a springing power of attorney and the second is a durable power of attorney. Each, while different, helps keep your affairs in order in the case of your incapacitation or death.

A springing power of attorney is called such because it is not in play until a certain set of circumstances is met. Typically, this is when you are incapacitated and unable to make decisions for yourself. Someone else can act on your behalf and “spring” into decision making.

A durable power of attorney is a document in which you appoint someone to take care of your financial decisions. This may be done for convenience or because you are no longer able to due to illness or death. Having a durable power of attorney in place prevents against lengthy court proceedings to determine guardianship or conservatorship and can remain in effect throughout your life.

Even if you are married, do not assume your spouse can make financial and other decisions without at least one of these documents. Try calling a credit card company on behalf of your spouse and you will see it is a challenge if you don’t have the proper paperwork in place.

Having a power of attorney in place is good at any age and level of health. Having it will ease the process of taking care of you and your estate in the event of your illness or death. For more information about power of attorney and other estate planning matters, please call the team at Stuart & Blackwell today.