At Williamson, Friedberg & Jones, LLC, we assist individuals with respect to estate planning. One of the most important documents a person should have as part of an estate plan is a Power-of-Attorney form.
What is a Power-of-Attorney form? It is a legal document where a person (the “Principal”) grants legal authority to another person (“the agent” ) to perform certain acts on behalf of that person.
Why should a person have a Power-of-Attorney form as part of an estate plan?
- Disability – If you become disabled and cannot handle your financial affairs, then someone needs the legal authority to act on your behalf. A Power-of-Attorney form allows you to select the person who has the legal authority to act for you if you become disabled. If you become disabled and do not have a Power-of-Attorney form, then your family may be required to file a guardianship petition in the Orphans’ Court of your county courthouse. This court proceeding is expensive, and the court may appoint someone that you would not have chosen to handle your affairs.
- Convenience – If you are unavailable to handle a financial transaction, then your Agent can sign legal paperwork on your behalf.
- Privacy – Transactions occurring via a durable Power-of-Attorney are kept private assuming that the Agent acts as authorized and in accordance with the Principal’s expectations. If you become disabled and the court appoints a guardian to act for you, then the guardian must file reports with the court documenting the transactions that were performed for you.
- Inexpensive – Executing a Power-of-Attorney form is inexpensive as compared to the alternative guardianship process.
If you would like me to assist you with preparing a Power-of-Attorney form, please call (570) 622-5933. ~ Attorney James E. Crossen, III[/column]