Could a springing power of attorney suit your needs?

You and many other Louisiana residents understand the importance of having an estate plan. However, you may still have questions about what you want to include in your personal plan. You may have already made certain decisions about the distribution of your remaining assets, but you may now be giving more attention to aspects of the plan that could go into effect before your passing.

In particular, you may want to ensure that someone you trust will make decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated. Luckily, this scenario is one that you can address in your estate plan. Specifically, you could create a power of attorney document that appoints an agent to act in your stead should the need arise.

Springing or non-springing?

Some people are somewhat uncomfortable with the idea of giving someone else control over their affairs. However, there are safeguards that you could include in your power of attorney document to prevent someone from misusing this power. One option to take is creating a springing power of attorney. This means that your agent would have the power to act on your behalf only after two doctors deem you incapacitated.

This option may seem ideal because it would prevent someone from making decisions for you while you still have a sound mind. However, some situations could arise in which your power of attorney agent needs to act immediately, and having to take the time to have two doctors sign off on your springing power of attorney could delay important decisions.

Durable power of attorney

A non-springing or durable power of attorney would allow your agent to act on your behalf before and after incapacitation. Having a durable power of attorney could be useful if you need someone else to act for you in varying capacities, not just after you become incapacitated. Still, some people only want an agent to act in specific scenarios, which you could stipulate in documents by taking extra planning measures.

If, for some reason, you do not want your power of attorney agent to have immediate power to make decisions for you, you may want to ensure that you fully trust this person to make decisions for you in the future. If you do but still want to limit that power, gaining more information on the pros and cons of a springing power of attorney may be useful.