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Why You Need a Springing Power of Attorney

By Lara J. Schneider-Bomzer

spring-crocuses-1439855-mYou’ve done your due diligence.  You’ve met with a qualified estate planning attorney and signed a Durable Power of Attorney naming your son as your agent.  He is responsible and up to the task.

But what if something happens to him? Is there someone else who could spring into action for you? Introducing the Springing Power of Attorney.

What if your son is not as responsible as you thought, but you no longer have the mental capacity to change this document and appoint someone else? What if he passes away suddenly or is in a car accident which leaves him incapacitated?

I know you don’t want to think about this, but what will happen?

What is a Springing Power of Attorney?

What you may not know is that the Connecticut statutes allow you to appoint a successor agent to your existing power of attorney.  You can do so in a document called a “Springing Durable Power of Attorney” and essentially, it “springs” into action if your power of attorney can no longer act on your behalf.

The document states that the successor agent does not act unless your existing power of attorney is no longer able to act.

If your successor agent needs to step in, then he or she will sign an affidavit and will now be able to act on your behalf for your financial and business decision making. You can even name more than one successor agent to ensure that you will not be left without someone in place to help you.

Keep in mind the importance of having a Springing Durable Power of Attorney with these scenarios:

  • You have an existing Durable Power of Attorney in place, but now you are mentally incapacitated and can no longer sign a new Durable Power of Attorney.
  • Your existing power of attorney has passed away or can no longer act on your behalf.
  • You do not have a Springing Durable Power of Attorney naming a successor agent in place.

What if you don’t have a Springing Power of Attorney?

A Connecticut probate court will get involved.  A probate court judge will appoint someone –perhaps a family member you would not have chosen or someone you do not know – to act as the conservator of your estate.  The conservator will have the fiduciary responsibility to manage your financial and business decision making.

How easily this scenario can be avoided if you sign a Springing Durable Power of Attorney.  So “spring into action” this Spring and make sure that you call us or another qualified and experienced estate planning attorney to sign a Springing Durable Power of Attorney.

 

Related Posts:
The Shocking Truth About Not Having a Will

How to Take Charge of Your Healthcare with Advance Directives

What is a Power of Attorney and Who Should You Choose?

 

 

 

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