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Estate planning: 3 myths and truths about powers of attorney

On Behalf of | Jan 8, 2023 | Estate Planning |

Do you understand what a power of attorney (POA) document does? It allows you to give another party the authority to act on your behalf as a designated agent.

You might think powers of attorney are only for emergencies, but having one or more in your estate plan means they can be used whenever they’re needed. Consider the myths (and truths) discussed below to continue improving your understanding of this estate planning tool.

Myth 1: You give away your rights

As long as your POA document is prepared correctly and contains careful legal language, you retain the right to make your own decisions. You can also revoke the document at any time if you are of sound mind.

Myth 2: Your agent has unlimited powers

Powers of attorney give designated agents authority, but that authority doesn’t include certain things like creating or changing your will. Ensuring that the document details the specific powers your agent will have can offer you even more protection.

Myth 3: There is no risk of financial misuse or abuse

Unfortunately, the risk of a designated agent abusing their authority is always possible. That’s why you need to choose someone you know you can trust to represent you and your interests.

Final thoughts

Powers of attorney can address many things, including giving someone the authority to advocate for your health care wishes and handle your financial matters if you’re ever unable to do so. They fill a critical role in all plans but should be drafted under the guidance of a New York estate planning professional. This will help ensure that yours meets your needs and complies with the law.

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