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Power of Attorney

At one time or another most of us have been concerned about what might happen to us, our family, or to our assets in the event of our incapacity. A power of attorney document is an estate planning tool to consider that would help in an unfortunate circumstance. (See below for an example of Star One's Power of Attorney document.)

A power of attorney authorizes the attorney-in-fact to make financial and/or medical and/or other decisions for the principal, depending on the grant of powers in the written document. A power of attorney may be made durable which means it will be in effect after the incapacity of the principal.

A power of attorney can be specific or broad in regards to the authority you wish to grant to another person. It can be for financial matters or for health care decisions. It can remain in full force and effect even though you become incapacitated, or it can become void upon your incapacity. You may decide that it become effective upon a specified event, for example, upon your incapacity.

A durable power of attorney document allows you to designate a trusted person or entity to handle your financial and/or health care affairs in the event you are unable to do so. Preparing a power of attorney document in advance, before you need to rely on it, has advantages. In addition to estate planning purposes, some people prepare a power of attorney document before taking a vacation, prior to a surgery or before leaving on work related travel.

Star One Credit Union recommends that professional assistance from a qualified attorney or financial planner is sought when making important estate planning decisions such as executing a power of attorney. Consider your needs and goals when deciding whom you will appoint, the extent of the powers you will grant, and what type of power of attorney you would like to execute.

Remember that the power of attorney document must be drawn up before incapacity and becomes void upon death.

Click here for an example of Star One's (Durable) Power of Attorney (for Star One Credit Union accounts only).

Note: The planning tips and guidelines on these pages are not intended as legal advice, nor to be construed as legal advice. For any legal or tax issues related to your personal situation, you should consult a qualified legal professional or tax advisor.

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