Elder Law Group Blog

What is an Attorney-in-Fact, and Why Do I Need One?

May 17, 2017 | News, Planning

What is an Attorney-in-Fact, and Why Do I Need One?
An Attorney-in-Fact (AIF) is an agent authorized to act on behalf of another person. It is important to designate an AIF to handle your financial affairs and an AIF to handle your health care decisions in the event that you become incapacitated.
Your AIF is designated in a Durable Power of Attorney. The durable nature of this document means that it remains in effect even after you become incapacitated. These legal documents allow your AIF to sign documents, make decisions, and handle your affairs on your behalf.
If you do not designate an AIF then a family member may have to go to court to obtain permission to manage your finances or make your health care decisions when you are no longer able to do so for yourself. It is important to have an AIF who is empowered to access and manage your finances right away, without the need for court intervention. Also, designating an AIF for your health care decisions helps ensure your wishes will be carried out and may help to eliminate fighting among family members on what health care choices are right for you.
Designating An Attorney-in-Fact For Financial Affairs
A General Durable Power of Attorney is a legal document that names your AIF to manage your financial affairs. It does not take away your authority whether you are capable of making decisions or not.
Your AIF for financial affairs will be able to make deposits and withdrawals from your bank accounts, sell stocks, bonds, or other securities you own, transfer title to assets you own, sell or encumber any real estate or personal property you own. It is important to designate an AIF who you trust and is skilled with financial management.
Designating An Attorney-in-Fact For Health Care Decisions
A Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care Decisions is a document that names your AIF to be your voice for medical decisions. It does not take away your authority whether you are capable of making decisions or not.
Your AIF for health care decisions will be able to make medical decisions on your behalf when you are incapacitated. He or she will be able to access your medical records, to give or revoke consent to medical treatment, to give or revoke consent to being admitted to a nursing home or assisted living facility, and to visit you at any medical facility. It is important to designate an AIF who is competent and responsible, and who you trust implicitly to follow your wishes.
Estate Planning
The experienced Elder Law Attorneys of Elder Law Group PLLC will work hand-in-hand with you to design an Estate Plan that is best tailored to meet your objectives and preserve your assets.
Our Estate Planning practice goes beyond the traditional realm of Wills and Trusts, Durable Powers of Attorney, and Health Care Directives. We address the legal and social issues affecting seniors, the disabled, vulnerable adults, and their families. Our goal is to address every contingency you and your family may face with aging, illness, or incapacity.
Contact us or call (509) 468-0551 (Spokane office), or (509) 579-0206 (Tri-Cities office), for personal, compassionate guidance in Estate Planning and Elder Law.

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