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Using a durable power of attorney

On Behalf of | Aug 29, 2017 | Estate Administration & Probate, Firm News |

Ohio residents who are creating an estate plan might want to consider including a power of attorney. A power of attorney gives a person the ability to act as another person’s agent in financial or legal matters.

Usually, a durable power of attorney is better than a nondurable power of attorney. The problem with a nondurable power of attorney is that it no longer applies if the principal becomes incapacitated, but a main reason to include a power of attorney as part of an estate plan is so that the agent can step in if the principal becomes incapacitated. This gives the agent the ability to handle issues such as filing the principal’s tax return.

It is important to make the right choice with the power of attorney. In order to keep one person from having all the power, co-agents can be appointed. Whether one or two people are chosen for this role, they can be family, friends or even a professional such as an attorney. It is also best to work with an attorney to ensure that the power of attorney is set up correctly. Using a do-it-yourself form from the internet can result in an error that affects the legality of the document.

A person might also want to consider other people who will have decision-making power in an estate plan as well such as the executor. This is the person chosen to administer the estate after a person’s death. The executor may have a number of duties as the estate goes through probate including ensuring that all assets are located, debts are paid, beneficiaries receive their inheritances and tax forms are filed. The executor is not expected to be an expert in estate administration and probate and might want to have legal assistance.

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