While residents of Michigan might have a baseline understanding of what a power of attorney is, there still can be a degree of confusion. It can be helpful to have a clear understanding of power of attorney in order to make informed decisions should a situation call for it and to avoid any abuse of power that can unfortunately occur.
One of the main reasons that many people put off long-term planning is that they do not like to think about going through a time--whether temporary or permanent--when they are no longer able to make their own decisions and live according to those decisions. There are likely many aspects of your life that you prefer to control instead of relinquishing that power to other. Some key areas include our personal lives, financial matters, and medical care.
Powers of attorney are intended to provide a legal way for Michigan residents to manage their own affairs and make their own decisions even when they are physically or mentally unable to take action or convey their wishes. One very important type of power of attorney is a medical power of attorney. This kind of power of attorney relates to certain "life-or-death" medical decisions and end-of-life care. Since a power of attorney is a legal document, it is binding if it is created correctly. It is important for people think and plan carefully regarding who they choose as their agent and to discuss their wishes with that person.
Although it is often difficult to think about, it important to think about planning for times when it might be impossible for a person to make decisions for himself or herself. These important decisions might relate to financial matters, personal lives and possessions or medical care. Conflicts between family members over how these decisions will be made can often arise, even though it might be the last thing that a person would want. Creating a health care power of attorney before such a situation arises can help prevent a range of problems and ensure that a person's wishes are carried out, at least with regard to medical care.
Many Michigan residents may think that estate planning is something that only older Americans need to worry about. This type of thinking can come from the view that an estate plan's main purpose is to distribute a person's assets after they die. While there is some truth to that view, there are many more components of an estate plan that need to be considered. And, as a recent article pointed out, young people - even 18-year-olds - would probably benefit from having at least a basic estate plan in place.
It is common for many people to associate estate planning with preparing for the distribution of assets after death. While this is indeed one of the main reasons for a Michigan resident to have an estate plan drafted, there are many aspects of the plan that will address events that could be possible before a person's death. This is where the power of attorney documents come into play.
There is a lot that a Michigan resident needs to do in order to put together a comprehensive estate plan. But, for the most part, there is one overarching requirement: making decisions. The process of estate planning is all about making decisions. From determining how to distribute assets to assessing the pros and cons of trusts, and much more, drafting and executing an estate plan is essentially a series of decisions to be made. However, some decisions are more important than others. For instance, how does a Michigan resident decide who to appoint to make decisions in their place?
Most people know that they should have an estate plan. However, statistics are routinely reported reflecting the fact that many people still don't have the necessary estate planning documents even though they know they should. Like many other tasks, some people avoid estate planning simply because they don't know what to do or which documents apply to their particular situation. A recent article recognized this problem and sought to educate readers on what exactly needs to be in a comprehensive estate plan - in most cases.
Many of our Michigan readers have probably been having a good time in recent days, celebrating the holidays and getting together with friends and family. This is certainly the time of year when many people are ready to relax and catch up and spend time with the people who are most important to them. For some that means days spent shopping, playing in the snow or watching sports together on television. But, a recent article has suggested that many people should take this time together with family members to address another topic: estate planning.
Any of our Oakland County readers who are familiar with some of our most recent posts have seen the discussion of some of the most important aspects of a solid, comprehensive estate plan. Of course, it is probably obvious that the first estate planning document to be discussed is a will, since this particular instrument can spell out many of the most important wishes to be carried out, from asset distribution to funeral arrangements. And, for those who may be interested, previous posts have discussed the many uses of trusts, and how they can be especially effective in addressing several areas concerning the transition of assets. However, there are other documents that should not be overlooked for the importance - powers of attorney.