Durable Power of Attorney

Protect Your Finances in Case of Emergency

What would happen if you were in a car accident and ended up in the hospital in a coma?

  • Your bills could go unpaid, destroying your credit.
  • You could face foreclosure or eviction from your home.
  • Your car could be repossessed.
  • Anyone who relies on you for support would struggle
  • If you operate any kind of business, it could be ruined

Someone might have to try to obtain guardianship, which is a long and costly process. 

You might recover your health only to find that your financial life is ruined. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Preparation is the Key

While no one knows what the future holds, the right legal advisor can help ensure that you’re prepared for whatever may be in store. At Huizenga Law, we look at the full picture of our clients’ situations to see where they may be vulnerable in the future. Then we evaluate the options to meet potential challenges and help you choose the best options to protect yourself.

We can prepare a durable power of attorney to enable someone you trust to step in and manage your financial matters if you are incapacitated and unable to take action, make decisions, or communicate your preferences. With the right power of attorney, your agent can take over right away, managing funds, paying bills, and taking care of business until you are able to manage your affairs again.

Getting the Just the Right Protection

A durable power of attorney is, just as the name implies, a powerful document. You give someone authority to act for you, and there is always the potential for them to take actions or make decisions you don’t agree with. One way to prevent this type of problem is by limiting the power you grant.

Huizenga Law can craft a power of attorney document that provides just enough power to accomplish your goals without granting excessive authority that could be abused or mismanaged. We can establish power of attorney that only takes effect if you become incapacitated due to a physical or mental condition. You retain sole control as long as you are capable of managing financial matters.

We can also create a power that is effective immediately so that someone can help manage your affairs without taking an ownership interest in your property. If you add a child or other loved one to your bank account instead of using a power of attorney, they become an owner, and their creditors could potentially take your funds. Power of attorney is a much safer option if you need assistance now or want to allow a loved one the ability to provide assistance in the future.

Of course, we also ensure that all legal requirements are fulfilled so that banks and other critical institutions will accept the document and your agent will be able to act properly on your behalf.

Understanding a Power of Attorney

When you grant power of attorney to someone, you are giving them authority to act in your place. You don’t give away your authority—you can still make decisions, too. You simply share your authority.

The person you name is referred to as your agent. You should choose someone you trust to make sound decisions, but if you change your mind, you can always amend or revoke a power of attorney so long as you remain legally competent. You can also name an alternate to serve as your agent in case the person designated is unable to handle the role.

Power Designed Specifically for Your Needs

A power of attorney is not a one-size-fits-all document. We develop terms to meet your specific needs and goals. For instance, you can grant someone limited authority to handle certain transactions during the dates while you are on an extended vacation. Or you can specify that the power of attorney only takes effect if two doctors declare you incapacitated or when a specific event occurs, such as your placement in a nursing home.

Many people choose to execute a power of attorney to enable a family member to help them with paying bills and managing accounts. In this way, your agent has access to accounts but they do not own those accounts, so their creditors will not have recourse to them. You can limit your agent to one or two accounts or give them access to everything. We will take the time to discuss your objectives and help you determine the right power to grant.

What Makes a Power of Attorney “Durable?”

In the past, power of attorney documents would lose validity when the person who granted the power became incapacitated. This made the document useless at the time it was most needed. Attorneys started preparing durable power of attorney documents that were intended to remain in force even if the grantor became incapacitated, and virtually all power of attorney documents operate this way today.

Huizenga Law Can Help You Protect and Manage Your Finances with a Durable Power of Attorney

Accidents and serious illnesses can strike anyone at any time. For that reason, all adults should seriously consider creating a power of attorney to enable loved ones to act on their behalf in case of emergency. Individuals with the right power of attorney documents in place can save their loved ones the need to initiate costly guardianship or conservatorship proceedings in the future.

The team at Huizenga Law can create power of attorney documents to keep you prepared for whatever arises in the future. Schedule a consultation with us now to get started.