How You Can Use Powers of Attorney in Your Estate Planning
Durable and medical powers of attorney are part of our basic estate planning package. Attorney Ray Kerlick describes what they do and how they can avoid stress and expense for your family if you’re incapacitated mentally or medically. Call 800-929-1725 now to make your appointment.
Summary of the Powers of Attorney in Estate Planning Video
– – Hi, this is Ray Kerlick from Wadler, Perches, Hundl, and Kerlick. And we’re here at our Fulshear office today to talk a little bit about some of the additional estate planning documents that we prepare as part of our standard estate planning package.
Now, everyone’s familiar with what a will is, and what a will does. But remember, a will only takes effect after you’ve passed. So what happens in those timeframes before you’ve passed, but you may need help in making decisions, or lack capacity to make those decisions?
Well, we handle that through a process called powers of attorney. And why do we do that now? Well, the answer is, it avoids a much more expensive and cumbersome alternative. If someone hasn’t done any proper estate planning in advance, there is a solution. And the solution is, we set up a guardianship for that person.
And what do we have to do to do that? Well, we have to go to a court in the county in which they reside, and have a determination that they have lacked capacity, and are incompetent in some way now. We have to then appoint a guardian. That guardian typically has to put up the bond, and then go through making reports, on at least an annual basis, and seeking approval from the court before they do basically anything with their ward’s, or person who’s under the guardianship’s money or estate.
This could cost tens of thousands of dollars, and typically does. Alternatively, by simply handling a basic estate planning package today, we can avoid any necessity for the guardianship.
What we do is we basically designate the person that we would like to be our guardian, today. And not only can we designate a primary person, typically a spouse, we can designate a secondary person, and even a third person, should the first two be unable or unavailable to handle these procedures. And we do that, not only for financial, and decisions related to money, but also medical powers of attorney, so that we have someone who’s always authorized to act on our behalf. And we never have to go to a courthouse, and have someone appointed as a guardian.
Basically, the rest of the documents all deal with these medical decisions, and these issues that arise, again, while you’re still living, but when you potentially don’t have the capacity or the ability to make these decisions for yourself. It certainly provides a much more financially appropriate solution for your loved ones. And it’s a decision that we can make right now, today, as part of our estate planning package. Thank you.