What is a Power of Attorney?
Feb. 1, 2022
A power of attorney is a legal document that appoints someone to act on your behalf. This person is known as an agent or attorney-in-fact. The power of attorney can be used for financial matters, medical decisions, or any other legal decision you may need to make. It is a very important document and should be drafted with the help of an experienced lawyer.
In this newsletter article, we will discuss the benefits of having a power of attorney and the duties an agent must perform.
How does a Power of Attorney Work?
The power of attorney document gives the agent authority to act on your behalf. This means that the agent can make decisions and take actions on your behalf, as specified in the power of attorney agreement. You can also specify when your agent will have authority. For instance, you can create a “springing” Power of Attorney, which means the agent will only have authority to act on your behalf if a certain event, like your incapacitation, occurs.
The power of attorney agreement should be specific about what decisions the agent is authorized to make. It should also include a termination date or event, which will end the power of attorney.
What are the Benefits of a Power of Attorney?
There are many benefits to having a power of attorney.
Some of the most important benefits are:
The agent can make decisions for you when you are unable to do so yourself. This is especially helpful if you become ill or injured and cannot make your own decisions.
The agent can handle your financial affairs for you. This includes paying bills, managing investments, and handling other financial matters.
The power of attorney document can provide peace of mind in knowing that someone you trust will be able to make decisions for you if needed.
What Are the Duties of an Agent?
You can limit the duties of your agent as much as you desire. For instance, you can create a power of attorney that permits another to make medical decisions on your behalf, manage your finances, or make legal decisions (and any combination thereof). While an agent has a number of important duties to perform, an agent’s duties generally include:
Acting in your best interests at all times,
Making decisions that are in line with your wishes and values,
Keeping accurate records of all transactions and decisions made on your behalf,
Notifying you if there is any change in their health or legal status, and
Terminating the power of attorney when it is no longer needed or desired.
Having a power of attorney in place can provide peace of mind and security in knowing that your wishes will be carried out if you are unable to do so yourself. It is important to choose an agent who you trust and who understands your wishes.
My Office Can Ensure You’re Protected
If you are interested in learning more about power of attorneys, my office can help! We’ll help you get clear on your goals and create estate planning documents that provide the protection you desire. Schedule a free strategy session and we’ll help you determine the type of Power of Attorney that is right for you.
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