In addition to Life Estate Deeds, a second document that is of importance in Estate Planning is the General Power of Attorney. This document deals with the handling of financial affairs once a person is unable to handle those responsibilities. The Power of Attorney is generally appointed to handle all financial affairs including, but not limited to, access to bank accounts and other matters concerning the disabled’s financial affairs. Additionally, it should be noted that the primary importance of a Power of Attorney is to avoid the time and expense of pursuing a guardianship. If a person has not appointed a Power of Attorney to represent him or her and then becomes disabled, the only alternative is to pursue guardianship in the Circuit Court in the county where the incompetent person resides. The Power of Attorney also allows the person to appoint a caretaker.
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