When you are planning your estate in Charlotte North Carolina it would be wise to consider the period of time that people call the twilight years. During the years just prior to your death you may become unable to make sound financial and medical decisions. To prepare for this possibility you should at a minimum execute a legally binding document called a durable power of attorney for property. This could also be called a durable financial power of attorney.
Avoiding Guardianship Proceedings
The major advantage that you gain by executing a durable power of attorney for property in Charlotte is that you are more likely to avoid guardianship proceedings in the event of your incapacitation.
You may be surprised to hear that upwards of 45 percent of people at least 85 years of age are suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s causes dementia. People who are suffering from dementia will generally not be able to make sound financial decisions.
This percentage is quite significant, and the existence of Alzheimer’s alone would be enough to make incapacity planning a must. However, as we all know, there are other causes of incapacitation among elder Americans.
If you do nothing to prepare for the possibility of incapacity, interested parties could petition the state to initiate guardianship proceedings. The court would be asked to name someone to act on your behalf. You would not be able to control the selection of a decision-maker at that point.
However, you could in fact take a step to control the situation in advance through the creation of a durable power of attorney for property.
A power of attorney that is not “durable” would not remain in effect if you were to become incapacitated. This is why durable powers of attorney are used by elder law attorneys who are helping people prepare for the possibility of incapacity late in their lives.
A durable power of attorney will remain in effect even if the grantor becomes incapacitated.
When you name an agent or attorney-in-fact to act on your behalf in the event of your incapacitation through the execution of a durable power of attorney in Charlotte you are reducing the chance that the state will become involved and select a decision-maker that you would not have chosen.
In addition to a durable power of attorney for financial matters, you may also want to execute a durable power of attorney for health care decision-making. In some jurisdictions this document is called a health care proxy.
With this type of power of attorney you name someone to make medical decisions on your behalf in the event of your incapacitation. You may want one person to make health care decisions, and another to make financial decisions. This can be accomplished through the execution of two different powers of attorney.