Important Benefits and limitations You Need to know

By: Stuart Williams | Estate Planning Lawyer

In Michigan there are financial powers of attorney and medical powers of attorney.

Both of these powers of attorney can be granted to a person you trust, so that they may "act" on your behalf (with real legal authority) when financial or medical decisions need to be made and you do not have the capacity to respond or manage your affairs.

Legal authority to act on your behalf may be "presently" put in place to have someone manage your affairs, or the authority can be made to "spring" into place only when doctors have concluded that you are not well enough to manage your own affairs.

Based on agency law, powers of attorney can be granted to a person you've chosen (your agent), to act with real legal authority under the certain powers you've specified. A signed, witnessed and notarized document included with your planning will create the powers of attorney.

Separating the financial power of attorney and medical power of attorney allow you to have different family members participate in you estate plan within their stronger character traits. For instance a more "organized" or "numbers" type of person would be a good candidate for a financial power of attorney, and the family member who is a "strong" "leader type" would be well suited for medical powers of attorneys.

Powers of attorney are popular because they allow your loved ones to manage your affairs when you are not able to. If you know someone who has had to act as a power of attorney before the passing of a loved one, they will tell you that the power of attorney is an amazing, and powerful legal tool that allowed them to provide care and to help their loved-one manage their affairs.

What you need to know about powers of attorney are that they are not a substitute for an estate plan. They are merely one component of an estate plan providing your family the ability to manage your finances and medical care while you are alive. At death, their powers expire and if you have no further planning in place "probate" will be required to distribute any assets titled in your name.

At Family Wills and Trusts PLC, we’ll make sure there are no gaps in your estate plan that would leave you and your family exposed to unnecessary financial waste, headaches, or the stresses of probate. Request free information or schedule an appointment below to see how you can benefit from working with us.