When you start estate planning, one term that you will come across is power of attorney. When you plan your assets, you want to ensure that someone you trust takes care of the finances after you pass away. A POA or power of attorney can help you do that. 

Estate planning does ensure that your assets go to the right beneficiaries. However, the process is complex and requires the authority of someone you trust. Having a power of attorney gives you that advantage. A Cherry Hill estate planning attorney can ensure you pick the right person for the job. 

What is a Power of Attorney?

A power of attorney is one of the most important documents in your estate plan. It is a legal authorization that one person can make decisions for another in terms of their finances. This means that you get to choose the person who will handle your assets and debts on your behalf when you are gone. 

The person you choose for the job has to be someone you completely trust and think is capable of handling something as complex as this. If you do not appoint a POA, your family members have to reach out to the court to seek a guardian. This can be a time-consuming and expensive process, all while they are still grieving over your loss. 

Most people trust their family members to handle this responsibility. However, it is not only about how closely related you are to the person. They should also have the right skills for the job. Since legal procedures in Cherry Hill can be extremely time and energy-consuming, you want to pick someone who has the mental capacity to do it all while grieving over a loved one. 

What kinds of powers does a POA have?

A power of attorney has various powers and rights after you are gone. The powers typically include: 

  • paying debts
  • investing money
  • borrowing money
  • cashing checks
  • managing a business
  • engaging in legal proceedings
  • buying or selling property
  • collecting debts

There may be some additional powers, such as the power of making a gift. The list only includes the standard ones, but if you want to customize things, you can certainly do so. You can give your POA the power to give your assets to someone who they think deserves it. 

Planning early can help you in several ways. However, many people refrain from doing so because they think they have a lot of time on their hands. Death and illness come when you least expect them. It is better to stay prepared than be sorry. Contact an attorney today.