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San Francisco Lawyer for Durable Financial Power of Attorney

Bay Area durable power of attorney lawyer

Attorney Helping Clients Protect Property After Incapacitation in San Francisco County and the Bay Area

As long as you are of sound mind, you can rest assured that with few exceptions, you have the legal authority to make all important decisions regarding your property and assets. However, in the event that something unexpected happens and you lose the mental capacity to make decisions on your own, either temporarily or permanently, it is important to have a contingency plan in place.

Perhaps the best way to protect your property in case of your incapacitation is to establish a durable power of attorney, which grants decision-making authority to someone you trust. At the Law Office of Martin Alperen, we help our clients with powers of attorney and other important estate planning decisions by offering convenient, accessible services and guidance based on over 30 years of legal experience.

What is a Durable Power of Attorney?

It is important to note that powers of attorney are not limited to situations in which you are incapacitated. You can choose to establish a power of attorney at any time with the intent of allowing a close family member, friend, or business partner to take action and make decisions on your behalf. You can also designate specific kinds of decisions that this person can make to limit their authority, or set a termination date or event upon which the power of attorney will end.

A regular power of attorney is only valid when you are well. If you die or become incapacitated in any way, it becomes invalid. The key difference for a durable power of attorney is that you specify that your chosen representative, known as your attorney-in-fact, will have power of attorney even after your incapacitation. In some cases, this means that they will continue to have the decision-making authority you granted to them before your incapacitation. In others, the power of attorney will begin only upon your incapacitation, which is called a "springing" power of attorney. It is up to you to decide which you prefer.

Power of Attorney For Financial Matters in San Francisco

You may grant authority to your attorney-in-fact to make decisions on a wide range of matters related to your finances and property. For example, your attorney-in-fact can:

  • Manage your bank accounts and make transactions
  • Buy, sell, and manage your currently owned property and property acquired in the future
  • File your annual tax returns
  • Pay your bills and debts
  • Purchase insurance coverage for your property
  • Establish a trust to manage or distribute your assets
  • Trade stocks and manage your investments
  • Apply for Social Security, Medicaid, and Medicare benefits on your behalf
  • Handle your retirement accounts
  • Negotiate and sign business contracts in your name
  • Hire employees for your care

Given the extent of the authority this person may have over your finances, it is crucial to choose someone whom you fully trust.

What Happens Without a Durable Power of Attorney?

Control of your assets can become complicated if you are incapacitated without previously establishing a durable power of attorney for your finances. It may be necessary for the State of California to determine the best way to handle your property according to state probate laws. If you have surviving family members, they may be able to petition for guardianship of your estate, but this can be a difficult and lengthy process, and it may lead to disputes between family members. The best way to prevent this hardship is to ensure that you have a durable power of attorney in place.

Contact a North Bay Area Estate Planning Attorney

We can help you establish a durable power of attorney with terms that truly reflect your preferences and ensure that your property will be in the hands of someone trustworthy and responsible if you are no longer able to manage it yourself. Contact us today at 415-534-1200 for a free consultation. We are available for virtual appointments, or we can come to you in-person at a convenient and safe location. We serve clients throughout the Bay Area, including San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley, Marin County, Alameda County, Santa Clara County, and the surrounding areas.

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