Powers of attorney: What they do and do you need one?

As a part of my comprehensive estate plans, I provide my clients with Powers of Attorney.  In California, there are two kinds of powers of attorney: one for assets and one for health care.  Powers of attorney come into play while you are still alive, but you are incapacitated and/or unable to make decisions on your own behalf.  This can be due to accident, illness, or cognitive impairment such as dementia or Alzheimer’s.  Your power of attorney for assets allows the person of your choice (generally your spouse first, then a close friend or family member if your spouse is unable) to manage your finances.  This means that, while you are incapacitated, your mortgage and electric bills can still be paid.  The power of attorney for medical care allows the person of your choice to make medical decisions on your behalf.  It includes the medical advance directive, which tells the doctors how to treat you if you are in a persistent vegetative state.  If you do not sign a power of attorney and you become incapacitated, then your family must go to court for a lengthy and expensive process to obtain conservatorship over you.  Executing powers of attorney is thus a critical aspect of your estate plan that protects you, your family, and your assets as you move through the stages in your life.  Here is a video on this topic:

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2 Responses to “Powers of attorney: What they do and do you need one?”

  1. Ken Says:

    Christina, your testimonial link is broken.

    Testimonials
    http://www.stik.com/badge/frame?v=1&stikid=318941
    Read Recommendations & Reviews on Stik.com

    Thought you would want to know.

    • christinamcpherson Says:

      I think it’s a Stik issue – it looks like they’re upgrading their servers. If it remains broken I’ll figure it out or take it down. In the meantime I have a Testimonials page on the right menu. Thanks for letting me know!


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