What is a Springing Power of Attorney?

What is a Springing Power…

When you execute a power of attorney, you are giving another person, or your agent, the legal right to handle your financial affairs and business. In a springing power of attorney, however, your agent has no authority to act on your behalf until you become incompetent. In other words, there has to be an illness, injury, or circumstance that causes you to be unable to make decisions for yourself. Both a doctor and a court have the authority to find you mentally incompetent and unable to handle your financial affairs. If either a doctor or court finds that you are mentally incompetent, then the springing power of attorney would go into effect and allow your representative to handle your affairs as needed. This is in contrast to a durable power of attorney, which takes immediate effect, and does not require you to be incompetent before your agent can manage your finances.

A power of attorney can address either your financial affairs or your medical care; some powers of attorney address both issues in the same document. However, it is usually best to keep two separate power of attorney documents, especially since you may want a different agent to handle your medical care from the representative you choose to handle your finances. Like a financial power of attorney, a medical power of attorney also can be a springing power of attorney. This means that your agent would have no authority to make medical decisions about care and treatment for you unless you became mentally incompetent to make those decisions yourself.

A power of attorney is an important part of your estate plan, and choosing the type of power of attorney that is right for you and your circumstances is essential. At Legacy Law Center, we dedicate our practice to protecting your interests, as well as the interests of your family through the estate planning process. Creating a comprehensive estate plan that meets all of your needs is no small task, and we know that you will need guidance in navigating through this often complex process. Call our Ann Arbor office today to set up an appointment to update your estate plan today.

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