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Power of Attorney Lawyers in Westchester County

White Plains Lawyers for Powers of Attorney

Greenwich Attorneys for Comprehensive Estate Planning

If you were to suddenly become incapacitated due to an illness or injury, do you know what would happen or who would make important decisions for you? At Ivey, Barnum & O'Mara, LLC, we know that your independence is probably very important to you, but we also understand the necessity of taking steps to protect yourself against unforeseen circumstances. Our attorneys recognize that it can be challenging to consider the possibility that you might not always be able to make decisions for yourself. With that in mind, we are equipped to help you draft a power of attorney document and other useful estate planning instruments.

What Are Powers of Attorney?

A power of attorney document is an estate planning tool through which an individual gives another person the authority to make decisions on the individual's behalf. The individual is called the "principal," and the appointed person is called an "attorney-in-fact" or an "agent." Connecticut and New York both recognize two basic types of powers of attorney, which are intended to provide decision-making authority for a specific part of the principal's life:

  • A power of attorney for property or financial power of attorney gives an agent the ability to make decisions on behalf of the principal on matters of money and property, including investments and debts; and
  • A power of attorney for health care or medical power of attorney gives an agent the ability to make decisions on behalf of the principal on matters of health, medical care, and physical well-being.

It is possible for the same agent to be granted power of attorney for both property and health care, if both are needed, or a separate person could be appointed to serve in each capacity.

Durable and Non-Durable Powers of Attorney

At Ivey, Barnum & O'Mara, LLC, we understand that power of attorney arrangements can be set up in several ways. For example, if you execute a non-durable power of attorney, your agent will have the ability to act on your behalf, but the arrangement would dissolve if you were to become incapacitated. A durable power of attorney, however, is designed to remain in effect regardless of any incapacitation. In fact, many people choose durable powers of attorney with "springing" provisions intended to put the arrangement into effect only if and when they become unable to make decisions for themselves.

Before you appoint a power of attorney, it is a good idea to meet with a qualified estate planning lawyer to discuss your available options. Our team can help you identify your needs, and we will work with you in drafting powers of attorney that fully protect your best interests. We will also assist you in choosing the right person to serve as your agent. Your agent must be both willing to manage your affairs and capable of doing so. He or she must also have an understanding of your goals and values so that the decisions he or she makes accurately reflect your wishes and desires.

Call 203-661-6000 for a Free Consult

If you have questions about how a power of attorney can protect you and your best interests, contact our office to get the answers. Call 203-661-6000 for a confidential consultation at Ivey, Barnum & O'Mara, LLC today. Our firm serves clients in Greenwich, White Plains, Fairfield County, Westchester County, and the Metro New York area.

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