For residents in Farmington Hills or Southfield, Michigan, it can be a bit confusing to understand the ins and outs of the power of attorney document. You may be thinking that since a person cannot use the power of attorney to take a person’s assets after they have died, that they may be able to take their assets while they are still alive through the document. But that is actually not the case.
A power of attorney can give another person the right to sell property in the place of the principal, sign a contract for the principal, or make financial transactions or decisions regarding health care. The principal can give someone the right to take any legal action that they would take themselves under the power of attorney document.
But when it comes to the way your assets are managed while you are still living, people who are disabled or anticipate being incapacitated in the future will often become the grantor of their own living trust. Your assets are overseen at your benefit through a living trust, and at this point, a durable power of attorney should be considered for management of your property. In this case, you appoint someone to be your “attorney-in-fact” and make property management or estate planning decisions in Southfield or Farmington Hills, Michigan, but only on your behalf. The attorney-in-fact’s ability to manage your assets expires once you pass away, so they never are able to seize your assets unless you grant them the ability to do so under the power of attorney.
If you, the principal, has dementia for example, the power of attorney does not give the appointed person the authority to overrule any decision that you make, even if those around you don’t believe them to be reasonable decisions. The person appointed under the power of attorney can manage your assets or finances but must make decisions according to the instructions of you, the principal, at all times.
Contact us for a free consultation if you think you or a family member might be dealing with these sort of issues in the near future. Michael Colton has been a probate or estate planning attorney in Southfield or Farmington Hills, Michigan since 1979 and is more than willing to help you do what’s best for your family during trying times. Call Colton Probate Law today. 248-324-0800.