Which document do you think is the most important one in your estate plan? Many times, the most essential estate planning document may be a well-drafted power of attorney in Raleigh, NC. A power of attorney is a document appointing someone else to have the legal authority to manage your financial affairs on your behalf. The person making a power of attorney is called the “principal,” and the individual who is appointed under the document, being granted this authority, is called the “agent.”
A power of attorney is typically made effective upon the execution of the document, even if the principal is fully able to manage his or her affairs solely. It simply grants authority to the agent to be able to act as well, and as long as the principal remains competent, the power of attorney can be revoked or replaced at any time.
The power of attorney becomes most important if a person becomes incapacitated (either mentally or physically) to the point that he or she is no longer able to make financial decisions. If the person has a well-drafted power of attorney in place before becoming incapacitated, his or her agent will immediately step in, without any court involvement, and make any financial decisions that the principal would have been able to make if not incapacitated.