Powers of Attorney

mother and daughter using sign languageAn important document that everyone should consider as part of their estate planning is a power of attorney. This is a legal document that gives another adult person – or even a Trust Department like at Visions – the authority to act on your behalf and make decisions regarding your money or property. Most often used in the event of illness or incapacity, a power of attorney document avoids the possibility of a court ordered guardianship.

However you choose a power of attorney, the agent or agents you designate must act according to your instructions and in your best interest. You can name one or more individuals to serve as your agent, and it’s best practice to have a successor in place in the event that the initial agent cannot act.

When it comes to multiple agents, you can designate whether you would like them to act separately or together. In most instances, it’s best to allow them to act separately. For example, many institutions do not offer two signature checking accounts and therefore would not be able to accommodate agents who must act together.

Remember that a power of attorney document is personalized to your needs. The authority can be very broad or limited – it’s up to you – and that’s why it’s important to appoint someone you trust and who you know will act in your best interest. And, while powers of attorney are governed by specific state laws and should be prepared by an attorney, Visions can help you determine how it may fit into your estate planning.

For information on Trust services at Visions, reach out to us today!

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