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The Value of Powers of Attorney during COVID-19

On Behalf of | Sep 9, 2020 | Estate Planning

The COVID-19 pandemic has created a number of life-altering issues for individuals over the course of the past six months. With all of these concerns arising so unexpectedly and diverting focus to maintaining essential items such as housing and income, estate planning has likely not been a priority for most individuals recently. In light of the challenges presented by our current environment, powers of attorney have become particularly important.

Unfortunately, events such as extended hospitalization do not bring the obligations of daily life to a halt. A Durable Power of Attorney allows you to authorize someone you trust to act as your agent to handle issues relating to real estate, personal property, banking, insurance, taxes, and other items in the event you are unable to do so yourself. Execution of a Durable Power of Attorney can provide you with peace of mind that your personal affairs will be managed appropriately in your absence.

Similar to a Durable Power of Attorney, a Medical Power of Attorney permits you to authorize someone you trust to discuss your circumstances with the medical professionals providing your care and make healthcare decisions on your behalf in the event you are incapacitated or otherwise unable to communicate. A Medical Power of Attorney provides the opportunity for you to issue certain directives to be followed relating to your care in advance, including whether you agree to the use of life-sustaining procedures such as a ventilator. This provides assurance that the care you receive will be in accordance with your wishes.

Powers of Attorney create legal relationships between the principal and the designated agent. The agent is required to act in good faith and perform in a manner consistent with the principal’s expectations or in furtherance of the principal’s best interests if his or her expectations or preferences are not known. Agents cannot act beyond the authority granted by the Power of Attorney, and Powers of Attorney can be revoked by the principal at any time.

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To learn more about Powers of Attorney and the utility they provide, please call the experienced estate planning attorneys at the Telpner Peterson Law Firm, LLP today. A member of our team can be reached at 712-309-3738 or by online message.