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Power of attorney docs can be an important part of an estate plan

Sometimes, a medical condition or the effects of old age make it so an elderly individual is no longer able to take care of their own affairs. When this occurs, what will often happen is that one of the individual's family members will take up the managing of the individual's affairs and care.

One could see how such a transition could have the potential to be confusing, chaotic and even contentious. Thankfully, there are ways that individuals can, through advanced planning, help make it more likely that such a transition will go smoothly if they ever end up becoming incapacitated during their elderly years.

One such way is through careful estate planning. A misconception that people might have about estate planning is that it only regards planning for what will happen when they die. However, estate planning also can touch on issues regarding how certain matters will be handled during the course of a person's life. Two types of documents regarding this that estate plans sometimes contain are financial power of attorney documents and medical power of attorney documents. Such documents can set who these powers will be transferred to in the event that a person is no longer able to take care of their own affairs. Having these sorts of documents in order can provide a lot of clarity regarding what will happen if an elderly person becomes incapacitated.

When it comes to power of attorney documents, having all the language right can be of supreme importance. Thus, when a person is considering creating power of attorney documents for their estate plan, they should consider seeking out the advice and assistance of an estate planning attorney.

Source: myfoxhouston.com, "Dilemma of providing care for aging parents," March 10, 2014

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