Benefits of a Power of Attorney

Including a power of attorney in your Phoenix estate plan is critical, even for married individuals. A power of attorney is a legal document that gives another individual the authority to act in your place.

power of attorney

There are various types of powers of attorney in Arizona. The two main types of power of attorney that everyone should include in their Phoenix estate plan are a financial power of attorney and a healthcare power of attorney. A financial power of attorney lets you appoint an agent to manage your finances and property. A healthcare power of attorney allows you to select an agent to make healthcare decisions on your behalf if you are incapacitated.

Below are six benefits of including powers of attorney in your Phoenix estate plan.

  1. You Will Not Need a Court-Appointed Guardian or Conservator

If you live in Phoenix and become incapacitated, your loved ones may have to petition the court to appoint a guardian or conservator if you do not have a valid power of attorney. The court will pick the individual who will manage your financial and healthcare affairs while you are unable to act for yourself. Depending on the terms of the guardianship, the guardian may have to seek court approval for various decisions. The guardianship process is often lengthy and expensive, placing an added burden on your family during an already emotional and stressful time.

If you have a power of attorney, the agent you choose can immediately act on your behalf without court oversight. Although there is a small, upfront cost when you create a power of attorney, there are no continued costs when it goes into effect.

  1. Gives You the Choice of Agent

If your loved ones are forced to petition the court for guardianship, you have no control over who the judge chooses to act on your behalf. Your guardian could even be an unknown third party with no real understanding of your wishes. With a power of attorney, you can decide who will act as your agent and choose someone who is the most willing and able to handle your affairs and carry out your wishes.

In Phoenix, there are very few limitations on who can pick as your agent. You can choose any competent adult. Examples of common power of attorney designations in Phoenix include spouses, adult children, and professionals such as attorneys or accountants.

  1. Prevents Delays

A power of attorney can go into effect immediately when you become incapacitated. Your financial power of attorney agent can have immediate access to your assets. They will be able to pay your bills and manage your financial affairs. Your healthcare agent will not have to wait to communicate with your medical providers and make critical medical decisions about your care.

  1. Aids Asset Protection

A well-crafted power of attorney gives your agent the authority necessary to engage in effective asset protection planning. This is critical if you should need long-term care due to your incapacity. Furthermore, you can authorize your agent to apply for government benefits on your behalf. These benefits, like Medicare, can be an essential resource in paying for your care. You do not want your inheritance to disappear because of the high costs of nursing home care.

  1. Prevents Family Disputes

Drafting a power of attorney provides a wonderful opportunity to express your intentions and expectations to your designated agent and close family members. Giving your loved ones a clear understanding of your wishes in the event you become incapacitated dramatically reduces the likelihood of family disputes. Without a power of attorney, it is common for fights to arise when your family members have conflicting beliefs about your care.

Do You Need a Lawyer to Make a Power of Attorney in Phoenix?

You should create your powers of attorney with the help of a knowledgeable estate planning attorney like Nicole Pavlik. Powers of attorney must meet specific legal requirements and are not one-size-fits-all. When you work with an attorney, you will have peace of mind that your power of attorney is a valid, comprehensive legal document that fits your unique circumstances.

Your Phoenix Estate Planning Attorney

Nicole Pavlik is an experienced Phoenix estate planning attorney who can help you prepare for the unexpected by creating powers of attorney that works for you and your family. If you have questions about powers of attorney, call Nicole Pavlik Law Firm today at (602) 635-6176 for a free consultation.

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