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Planning for the future with regard to you and/or your significant other’s health and wealth is paramount. Especially so, where the matter of decision-making power is concerned. If you’re the kind of person who procrastinates, this is something you can easily shelve and never quite get around to settling. However, this critical aspect of estate planning cannot be overemphasized. One of the simplest ways to handle the situation is establishing a durable power of attorney. This informative post will teach you all about it.

So what exactly does this crucial document do? The following post explains:

A durable power of attorney is a legal document that your attorney drafts for you per your instructions. It designates the person of your choice, called your attorney-in-fact, who will make your health care and/or financial decisions for you in the event you become unable to make these decisions yourself.

The durability aspect of your power of attorney rests in the fact that the document becomes effective the moment you sign it. It then remains in effect until you revoke it or until you die, whichever event occurs first. There is, however, one exception. If you appoint your spouse as your attorney-in-fact and you and (s)he subsequently divorce, your durable power of attorney automatically terminates when your divorce becomes final. Read more at Prince Law Firm…

With the extensive decision-making power afforded by a durable power of attorney, it’s clear that you need to choose your attorney-in-fact wisely. In the event that you need to amend your choice, you’ll have to legally revoke your decision and go back to the drawing board.

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You may have heard of multiple types of “power of attorney” documents. The following post elaborates on some of the distinctions that exist:

What’s the difference between durable and general power of attorney?

A general power of attorney ends the moment you become incapacitated. It’s an effective legal tool in any number of circumstances, including helping shoulder the legal responsibilities of a loved one. But it isn’t suitable for a variety of important end-of-life decisions because of its lack of durability under duress.

When a power of attorney is durable, that means there’s language within the document which states an agent’s authority continues to apply if you become incapacitated. There is no automatic deadline by which these powers expire. A durable power of attorney stays effective until the principle dies or until they act to revoke the power they’ve granted to their agent. Read more at Griswold Home Care…

Before you sign anything, you must be certain that you understand what you’re agreeing to, and be completely comfortable with the level of control you’re extending to another.

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As you can imagine, legal issues routinely evolve or undergo wholesale change. An important recent change to the durable power of attorney statute in North Carolina is highlighted in the following post:

The Durable Power of Attorney under the New N.C. Law

Issues surrounding the execution and validity of powers of attorney can dramatically impact litigation, especially when a party is adjudicated incompetent.  When this happens, questions about the validity of the document inevitably arise, and occasionally the motives of the agent acting on behalf of an incapacitated party come into question.

It doesn’t help that the North Carolina statute governing powers of attorney has historically been nebulous when it comes to the principal’s capacity or competency: Most notably, the law provided no definition of incapacity, leaving its determination up to an affidavit from the agent and, often, litigation.

A new law, effective as of January 1, 2018, purports to change this. Read more at Miller, Monroe & Plyler…

When it comes to establishing a durable power of attorney or handling any of your estate planning needs, it’s vital that you work with an experienced estate planning lawyer. If you do, you’ll have peace of mind once the work is done knowing that your affairs have been properly managed.

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At Meek Law Firm, our primary goal is meeting your estate planning needs in the best way possible. Attorney Jonathan Meek has the education and experience to ensure that your documents are legal and enforcible. Call us today at (704) 848-6335 or fill out the contact form on our website to get expert advice on estate planning, including establishing a durable power of attorney.