Nebraska Power of Attorney

Is a serious accident of any type something that you have prepared for? I'm sure many of us would say no to that question, but what if something did happen that left you mentally incapable of managing your health care and your finances? Having a Nebraska power of attorney on file is one way of being prepared. Without these it may not be possible for your spouse to take care of everything the way you think it should be. If your spouse needed to sell property to pay for medical expenses, would he or she be able to? With a Nebraska durable power of attorney on file they would be.

Your Nebraska estate planning attorney will probably recommend you have a couple of springing durable powers of attorney in your files at all times. A springing power of attorney is one that is only activated when a certain event occurs, like an accident leaving you incapacitated. A durable power of attorney is one that stays in effect when you become mentally incompetent, while a non-durable power of attorney is voided at that time. So a springing durable power of attorney immediately goes into effect when a doctor declares you mentally unsound and your appointed "attorney-in-fact" begins making important decisions for you.

A springing durable medical power of attorney would give your spouse, or anyone else you choose, the power to make all of the decisions necessary to take care of you. You may also include a health care directive with your power of attorney spelling out exactly how you wish to be cared for. These directions then must be followed by your attorney-in-fact and all of your health care providers.

A separate document is needed to create a springing durable financial power of attorney. This gives your attorney-in-fact the power to make all the financial decisions needed to run your business or pay your bills for you. The financial power of attorney grants very broad powers, the kind that are needed in this type of an emergency.

It may also be recommended that you keep a non-durable, or normal, Nebraska general power of attorney on file. This document is effective upon signing it and may or may not get used. It is just a good way of granting power to your spouse should the need ever arise for your signature and you were unavailable. These powers of attorney, with your spouse named as the attorney-in-fact, remain active in NE should you ever get a divorce. It is important to void these at the time of filing divorce papers.

Special non-durable powers of attorney have many uses also. To make it easier for a friend to sell a car for you a vehicle power of attorney could be created, allowing that person to sign the title for you. If you are out of time at the same time as a real estate closing, not a problem if someone else is holding a Nebraska real estate power of attorney.

Nebraska power of attorney forms can be found at Legal Zoom and in most cases do not require a lawyer to fill out. Your durable powers of attorney should probably be checked by an attorney, just to be sure everything is done correctly. When you need these documents is not the time to find out the were done wrong.

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--by Beth Heikkinen
Marquette, Michigan
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