Long Island elder law lawyers provide help to clients in planning ahead in case they become incapacitated. A car accident, a stroke, or many other types of illnesses or injuries could cause you to become unable to act on your own and unable to manage your own assets. You need to make a plan for what happens if you cannot control your own money or property any longer, otherwise substantial financial loss could potentially occur.
Mark S. Eghrari & Associates, PLLC can explain your options for determining who will be in charge of managing your wealth if something happens to you. You should work with an experienced attorney to use the appropriate legal tools for asset protection as part of your incapacity planning process. Call our Long Island elder law lawyers today to find out about the tools that you can use under New York law to control what will happen to you and your assets even if you have become incapacitated.
A Springing Power of Attorney Could Help You Take Control
One of the most common tools used in the incapacity planning process is the creation of a power of attorney (POA). A POA allows you to name an attorney in fact or agent. That agent or attorney in fact can be given limited or general authority to act on your behalf. While a limited power of attorney is useful for something like allowing a trusted person to sign documents on your behalf if you are going to be out-of-town, you’ll need a general power of attorney as part of your incapacity plan. This gives your chosen agent broad authority to act for you in all circumstances, which is necessary if you want your agent to take over the management of your assets if something happens to you.
A power of attorney must be durable so it remains in effect in case of your incapacity, otherwise it would not be an effective incapacity planning tool since the grant of authority would end right when you need it to. You’ll want to work with Long Island elder law lawyers to make sure you follow the appropriate formalities to ensure that you have given your chosen agent the authority that he or she needs.
If you are concerned about providing authority to someone else to manage your assets, you may wish to make the power of attorney a springing power of attorney. While a standard power of attorney would go into effect right away when you have signed the legal documents giving an agent authority to act for you, a springing power of attorney only goes into effect upon your incapacity. The authority that you give to your agent to act on your behalf thus becomes operative only when you need it to.
Your chosen agent will have a fiduciary duty to act in your best interests, so you can rest assured that your chosen agent won’t enrich himself with your estate using the authority you have provided by creating a power of attorney.
By taking action to select a person who will act for you, you get to control who takes care of your wealth so you can select a person who you have confidence can manage your assets in an appropriate way. If you do not make a power of attorney and plan ahead for what will happen to your wealth, the court would have to appoint a guardian. Assets could be lost during the delay when no one is in charge of managing wealth, and the appointed guardian may not be someone who is competent enough to manage your assets in an appropriate way.
Getting Help from Long Island Elder Law Lawyers
Long Island elder law lawyers at Mark S. Eghrari & Associates, PLLC will work with you to determine if you should create a springing power of attorney or to determine if there are other appropriate tools that you should incorporate into an incapacity plan. Because the future is uncertain and you never know when an incapacitating illness or injury will happen, you should take action today to find out how our firm can help you to put your plans in place.
You can join us for a free seminar to get more information about the process of making an incapacity plan. When you are ready to make your plans, you can give us a call at (631) 265-0599 or contact us online to get started.