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Preparing for incapacitation with a power of attorney

As basic components of their estate plans, all California residents should have two primary types of powers of attorney on file: a financial power of attorney and a health care power of attorney. Even if you do not do anything else with regard to estate planning, completing your powers of attorney could save yourself and your family a great deal of difficulty later on down the road.

Different people have different needs when it comes to their stage in life, financial situation and family situation. As such, different people may require different kinds of powers of attorney with various types of limitations and powers associated with them. At the Law Office of Barbara J. Dibble, we know exactly what questions to ask California estate planners to evaluate the kind of power of attorney documents that will suit a particular circumstance's needs.

For example, we can create a limited power of attorney that only gives your "attorney in fact" power over a very specific part of your life. For example, perhaps you need to make a financial transaction in another state but you are unable to be present for the deal. A temporary power of attorney could be created to give your attorney in fact the power to complete this transaction without you being present. Then, at the conclusion of the deal, the power of attorney will automatically dissolve itself. Similarly, we can create broad-reaching powers of attorney that give your attorneys in fact carte blanch control over all virtually every aspect of your life in the event of your incapacitation, but not before.

It is important to keep in mind that accidents happen when we least expect them to. A medical event, a car crash or some other type of calamity could render you incapacitated and unable to make decisions for yourself. In the event that you do not have a power of attorney on file, the process your family members may need to go through to obtain that power could be time consuming and costly -- especially if two individuals argue about who should have the authority to make decisions about your medical and financial concerns.

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