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Ensuring the power of a power of attorney in estate planning

Ensuring a power of attorney actually has the power for which he or she has been named is crucial. Good estate planning will make sure that any individuals Alabama residents name as a power of attorney. These individuals have the legal power to make decisions for an individual when that person can't do so him or herself. But there are certain things that should be in place to make sure a POA can act as the individual naming him or her would wish.

POA documents should be reviewed every three years, or more frequently as warranted, to make sure they're in keeping with current state legislation. If they aren't worded in keeping with the current laws, they may be rejected. And as life situations change, a POA should reflect those changes. Circumstantial changes like divorce, death of an already named POA or distance are some reasons a POA document should be updated. 

POAs can become powerless if these types of changes aren't made when necessary. The more comprehensive and up-to-date a POA is, the less likely it may be rejected by health care practitioners or financial institutions. Naming a backup POA is also advisable.

An Alabama attorney who has experience in estate planning will focus on ensuring that all legislative changes in the state are correctly documented in the client's POA. An attorney won't cut corners when it comes to making sure a POA document is legally sound. An experienced lawyer will know when legislative changes have taken place and will advise his or her clients accordingly.

Source: forbes.com, "Don't Let Your Power Of Attorney Become Powerless", Sarah Mouser, Accessed on Jan. 5, 2018

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