Why Everyone Should Have a Durable Power of Attorney

by Colleen Flynn Cyphers

A durable power of attorney is a document that allows you to name a person or persons that will be in charge of your affairs in the event you become “incapacitated” or unable to handle your business, personal and financial affairs during your lifetime.  If you do not have one and become unable to handle your affairs, someone will need to apply to the Court to have a guardian appointed on your behalf, which can be a lengthy and expensive process.

The durable power of attorney can be drafted as narrowly or broadly as you choose.  The person you select to handle your affairs can be a spouse, another family member or a friend. It should be someone you have great trust in that can be held responsible for such things as:

  • Paying for your support and care.
  • Conducting bank transactions.
  • Managing and/or selling real estate.
  • Handling legal claims.
  • Handling insurance claims.
  • Performing Medicaid planning. 

The power of attorney can be written so that it is effective while you are still able to take care of your own affairs, or it can come into effect only upon a determination that you are disabled, which will have to be specifically defined in the document.

Because of the complexities involved, it is highly recommended that you contact an attorney to provide advice and assist with drafting a durable power of attorney that meets your specific needs.  Having a durable power of attorney is an important part of long-term-care planning and will save both you and your family from having to spend time and money applying to the Court for a guardian.  Please contact our office and make an appointment to meet with one of our experienced attorneys to discuss the benefits of a durable power of attorney. LevinCyphers: 732-240-0909.