Georgia residents may benefit from adding a durable power of attorney to their estate plan. A power of attorney allows an individual to name an agent to act on his or her behalf. By making that power durable, the agent may act even when the person who appointed that agent is mentally incapacitated. Depending on a person’s needs, it may be possible to give one or more people a power of attorney.
It may also be possible to name a financial institution or another entity as a person’s agent. Whoever is granted power of attorney may take actions such as filing tax returns or overseeing the sale of a house. Ideally, a power of attorney document will be created by an attorney as even a small mistake in drafting it could cause problems in the future.
Ideally, an individual will begin estate planning as soon as he or she obtains an asset. Even if a person only has a house or a small savings account, those items may be beneficial to future generations. The use of wills or trusts may help a person have more control over where those assets go or how they can be used. Adding a power of attorney may make it easier to retain control over how assets are used while a person is still alive.
For instance, if an individual becomes mentally incapacitated, a trusted agent may be able to honor that person’s wishes. This may include selling a family home or making sure that money is available to help pay for a child’s future educational expenses. Having a power of attorney may also ensure that taxes are paid on time or that assets are used as effectively as possible to pay for long-term health care needs after becoming mentally incapacitated.