Powers of Attorney
An important part of estate planning is the recognition of the possibility of incapacity and to plan for substitute decision making. A durable Power of Attorney is an instrument in which you designate an Agent to act on your behalf should you become incapacitated. Without a Power of Attorney it would be necessary for your family to initiate Guardianship proceedings in order to obtain the legal authority to take care of your financial affairs and to make health care decisions on your behalf. For long term care/nursing home planning, it is critical that your power of attorney provide for unlimited gifting as well as the power to change ownership and beneficiary designations on such things as life insurance, IRAs, and annuities.