What is power of attorney? Do I need it? If so, how do I do this? And, when would I need a power of attorney? These may be some questions you are asking yourself when it comes to the topic of securing a power of attorney. At the Dana Law Group, we have put together a short guide that will help answer these questions, and more, to fully grasp the benefits of having a power of attorney.
What is a Power of Attorney?
Generally speaking, a power of attorney is a legal document that allows you to appoint another individual to represent you in your affairs should you become incapacitated. These affairs include financial decisions, health related decisions, business decisions, and more. There are two kinds of power of attorney: general and limited. A limited power of attorney is granted authority over a specific duty, such as selling a home, and may contain an expiration date. On the other hand, a general power of attorney has the authority over a multitude of decisions on your behalf.
Do You Need a Power of Attorney?
Most likely, yes. In fact, anyone who has reached the age of 18 needs a power of attorney. Once you reach the age of 18, your parents no longer have the legal authority to make decisions for you should you become incapacitated. Some instances where a power of attorney would be needed include any situation where a legal decision needs to be made, such as selling a house, making investments, and refusing or accepting medical or drug treatment. Your power of attorney can make any of these decisions on your behalf if you are unable to do so.
When Does Power of Attorney Come Into Effect?
This depends on whether you choose durable or springing powers of attorney. Durable power of attorney is effective immediately upon signing while springing power of attorney is effective only when you, the principal, becomes incapacitated.
Who Should be My Power of Attorney?
It’s always important to choose a trustworthy person, like a family member or attorney, to act as your power of attorney and who will always make decisions based on your wishes and best interest. This person should possess integrity, honesty, and wisdom, someone you can implicitly trust. If you decide to change your power of attorney, it is imperative you alert your attorney of this change immediately. If your power of attorney should pass away before you, you’ll need to quickly include another. It’s a good idea to already have a back up person in mind.
What Happens When I Die?
When you die, the power of attorney is no longer in effect. From here, the executioner of your estate steps in and takes over.
Is the Role of Power of Attorney Flexible?
It is commonly believed that power of attorney is only used as a last resort when someone can no longer make their own decisions. However, this is actually a very flexible role. The power of attorney can be granted roles that represent the individual in business, legal, financial, and other affairs that require specific professional knowledge, even when the individual is not incapacitated.
To learn more about the facts surrounding power of attorney and how to name one for yourself, contact the team at Dana Law Group. We will answer all of your questions and concerns and help you through the process. Having a power of attorney is an excellent step toward securing your ability to have decisions made for you if you are unable to do so. Protect yourself and your family by naming a power of attorney. Call us today at 1-800-381-8132.