Appointing a Power of Attorney Now Can Protect You Later
Helping Clients in Cherry Hill and Philadelphia
The aging process is different from person to person, of course. In some cases, you may face physical or mental incapacitation as you age, or due to an unexpected injury or disease. Should the worst come to pass, you want to ensure that you’re well taken care of by a person you trust.
At Bratton Scott, we want the very best for our clients. We have successfully drafted powers of attorney documents for people in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. We will make certain that, if the time should come when you are incapacitated, you have someone of your choosing looking out for you and making important decisions on your behalf.
Consider Both the Pros and Cons of a Power of Attorney
When it comes to choosing someone to act on your behalf, you can choose a power of attorney or allow the court to appoint one on your behalf, should it become necessary. The appointed party is called a guardian or conservator. At Bratton Scott, we advise clients to enact a power of attorney now, at your own convenience, when you are physically, mentally, and emotionally able to do so.
Through power of attorney, you authorize another trusted individual to act on your behalf in situations such as banking, signing leases, buying or selling real and personal property, accessing your safe deposit box, managing your Social Security income, paying your doctors and more. College students who are over 18 should put a power of attorney in place to allow their parents to act on their behalf.
What You Don’t Know about Powers of Attorney May Surprise You
While the reasons for assigning a power or attorney may seem immediately apparent to those who are widowed or who live alone, there are innumerable benefits for doing so while married, too. This is because:
- A spouse cannot automatically act on your behalf. When it comes to selling real estate or accessing medical records, even a spouse may need a Power of Attorney.
- You have the power of choice. You can choose anyone you want to act as your power of attorney. A friend, a lawyer, a banking institution or the executive of your favorite organization can be your agent.
- This is a legal document. A true power of attorney, one that is legally drafted, will hold up in court. The document must be in writing and clear with regard to exactly what you are allowing your agent to do on your behalf. If you choose more than one power of attorney, you must dictate their particular roles.
- Real estate deals have their own issues. If you use a power of attorney during a real estate transaction, the documents must be recorded with your deed in the local office that handles real estate matters.
- You retain control over your medical affairs. A financial power of attorney can only control who handles your financial affairs. It doesn’t control how your medical affairs are handled. You need to prepare a medical directive or living will to manage your medical affairs.
Choosing the Power of Attorney Option that’s Right for You
You have multiple options when it comes to a power of attorney. When the time comes to make the decision, you want an estate planning lawyer who has the skills and experience to guide you toward the best possible option for you. Charles C. Bratton, II, Esq. is a top-rated estate attorney who reviews and prepares all types of powers of attorney documents including:
- General Power of Attorney – A general power of attorney addresses your financial matters and is broad in scope.
- Durable Power of Attorney – A durable power of attorney, properly drafted, allows your agent to act on your behalf even if you become incapacitated. You can change it any time prior to when you become incapacitated, but not after incapacitation.
- Limited Power of Attorney – You can limit what your chosen agent can do. For example, if you lose your ability to walk, you may authorize your agent to retrieve documentation for you, but not authorize the right to sign that documentation on your behalf.
- Springing Power of Attorney – This type of document explains what events will determine when a power of attorney goes into effect in the case of incapacitation.
- Healthcare Power of Attorney – A healthcare power of attorney designates an agent to make decisions on your behalf with regard to your health should you become unable to make those decisions, or to properly communicate those decisions, on your own.
Contact Bratton Scott for Your Power of Attorney Needs
We invite you to talk to us about any or all of these options for drafting power of attorney documents. We are also happy to advise you about how often you should update your documents and assist you with making any changes you deem necessary.
The experienced power of attorney lawyers at Bratton Scott will ensure that your documents are prepared correctly. Call 856-857-6007 or fill out our convenient online form to request a consultation. If necessary, we will visit elderly and disabled clients at their location.