ESTATE PLANNING: POWERS OF ATTORNEY
Creating Powers of Attorney: A Critical Component of Every Estate Plan
We recommend that everyone incorporate a durable general power of attorney into their estate plan. Unlike with a last will and testament, powers of attorney deal with how assets are handled in the event of disability, not death. If you become disabled and are unable to make decisions on your own, the person you appoint as your agent under a grant of durable general power of attorney will have the ability to make decisions about financial matters and take action to both preserve and utilize your assets for your benefit.
When you discuss estate planning with us, you will benefit from the decades of experience we have accumulated serving people in the District of Columbia, Maryland, Alexandria, Fairfax and throughout the rest of Northern Virginia. Our goal is simple: to make sure your needs are met.
What Happens Without a Durable General Power of Attorney?
While preparing for the possibility of a disability is often the last thing on people’s minds, the benefits and the potential for long-term cost savings of establishing a durable general power of attorney should not be overlooked.
We frequently assist people dealing with a disabled loved one who either did not have an opportunity to or neglected to establish a durable general power of attorney. In these cases, someone must obtain guardianship and conservatorship. Although guardianship and conservatorship essentially allow a person to perform the same duties that can be accomplished under a durable general power of attorney, they are significantly more expensive to obtain because they necessarily entail proceedings before a judge of the circuit court.
The disabled person must be represented by a lawyer. The petitioner must be represented by a lawyer. Annual filings with the commissioner of accounts are mandatory. In the end, guardianship and conservatorship can cost thousands, and that money comes out of the disabled person’s estate.
When you’re ready to call, we’re ready to help. Call us at 703-836-9030, or contact us here.