It is important to discuss power of attorney with aging parents, an ailing spouse, or a close friend before it becomes too late. Obtaining a power of attorney is a secure way to avoid worst-case scenarios or legal complications after you become incapacitated or pass away.
What Is the Meaning of Power of Attorney?
A power of attorney is a document used to appoint someone or an organization to make decisions on your behalf if you become unable to do so. The person appointed is called an “attorney-in-fact.” The appointment can either be effective immediately or can be effective when you are unable to make decisions. However, all types of power of attorneys are not equal and serve different purposes. Each type gives your appointed person a different level of responsibility.
The person appointed is called an “attorney-in-fact.” The appointment can either be effective immediately or can be effective when you are unable to make decisions.
What Are the Types of Power of Attorney?
It is important to appoint someone you trust because they are expected to place your interest ahead of their own. There are multiple circumstances where the appointed person will be given the power to make decisions on your behalf. There are four different types, each serving a unique purpose.
General Power of Attorney can perform almost all the powers and right that you have yourself. For example, they can manage personal finances or sign documents on your behalf. If you needed someone to handle your financial matters, you do not need to be incapacitated to use a general power of attorney. A general power of attorney ends when you become incapacitated, revoke the appointed person, or pass away.
Durable Power of Attorney can remain in effect after you become incapacitated but is limited in scope. If you don’t have a durable power of attorney to represent you in court if you were to become incapacitated, the court can appoint a conservator or guardian to represent you. A durable power of attorney will remain until you pass away, but you make revoke the appointed person while you’re not incapacitated.
Limited or Special Power of Attorney gives the appointed person the power to act in your place but has specific power limits to a certain area. For example, a limited power of attorney grants the appointed to sell a home or other piece of real estate. They could sign a deed to property for you on a day you are out of town but the power of attorney ends at a specified time in the document.
Springing Durable Power of Attorney, like durable power of attorney, allows your power of attorney to become effective when you’re incapacitated. Although, it does not become effective until specified events occur such as when you become incapacitated. It is important that the standards be clearly laid out in the document for determining incapacity and triggering the power of attorney.
How Do You Obtain a Power of Attorney?
Choosing a power of attorney is the best way to avoid complications or worst case scenarios if you were to become incapacitated. There are only a few steps you will need to follow when you’re seeking a power of attorney. First, you will need to determine which type of power of attorney suits your needs and which person you wish to appoint as your power of attorney. Second, to inquire about what you forms you need to obtain. You will need to contact your local lawyer or your city hall. Once you obtain the necessary forms for your needs and fill them out, you will review the signed forms with your lawyer. Your lawyer will be able to explain the legal language to suit your case and can get the documents notarized so no institution or person can challenge the signature.
Choosing a power of attorney is the best way to avoid complications or worst case scenarios if you were to become incapacitated.
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