POWERS OF ATTORNEY FOR FINANCIAL AFFAIRS
people are aware of the fact that they should have a will and/or an
estate plan so that upon death their estates can be administered and
distributed to their beneficiaries promptly and efficiently.
However, many people fail to plan adequately for lifetime
disability. You should be concerned about the possibility of your
disability, that is, your inability to legally handle your affairs
(business, financial and personal). Disability can arise from a
number of different causes, for example, illness (such as a stroke),
injury, an accident, old age or the inability to locate or contact
you. If you are unable to handle your affairs, who can and will
In such cases, California
law provides for a probate court proceeding to have an individual or an
entity appointed to act on your behalf. Guardianship and
conservatorship proceedings involve time, expense and perhaps even the
embarrassment of trying to prove that you are mentally
incompetent. Furthermore, you have no assurance as to whom the
court will appoint.
are two kinds of powers of attorney for financial affairs: the Uniform
Statutory Form Power of Attorney and the Durable Power of Attorney.
Uniform Statutory Power of Attorney
This document gives a relative, friend or an entity the power to act on your behalf, effective immediately. You have the choice of designating specific kinds of powers granted to your agent, or you can grant all powers. A Uniform Statutory Power of Attorney may be terminated upon your incapacity or can continue even if you become incapacitated.
Durable Power of Attorney
Durable Power of Attorney is similar to the Uniform Statutory Power of
Attorney, except that it only becomes effective upon your incapacity. This
document is generally more extensive detailing the specific powers
granted, the allowable expenses and reimbursements, how incapacity is
defined, etc. In order to be valid it must be signed by you before you
become incapacitated. You should consider
having a Durable Power of Attorney. It can save you and your family
time, expense and the inconvenience of a probate court proceeding.
Everyone should consider the advantages of having a Durable Power of Attorney. It is an important part of estate planning.