A power of attorney (POA) is a legal document that gives someone else the authority to act on your behalf. This person is called an “agent” or “attorney-in-fact.”
There are different types of POAs. Some only become effective if you become incapacitated, while others are effective as soon as they’re signed. You can also revoke a POA at any time, as long as you’re still competent.
It’s important to understand that a POA does not give your agent the ability to do whatever they want. They must still act in your best interests and follow your instructions to the best of their ability. If they don’t, they can be held liable for any damages that occur. A POA can be a very powerful tool, but it’s important to choose your agent carefully. You should only give someone you trust implicitly the authority to make decisions on your behalf. If you have any questions about creating a POA, or if you need help revoking an existing one, contact our office today. We’ll be happy to assist you.
What Types of Powers of Attorney Are There?
There are two main types of powers of attorney:
- Durable POA: This type of POA remains in effect even if you become incapacitated. It can be used to handle your financial affairs, make medical decisions on your behalf, or both.
- Springing POA: This type of POA only takes effect if you become incapacitated. It’s often used to appoint someone to make financial decisions on your behalf if you’re unable to do so yourself.
You can also have a limited POA, which gives your agent authority to take specific actions on your behalf, rather than giving them unlimited power. For example, you might give someone a limited POA to sell your car but not to sell your house. Contact us to learn more about the types of powers of attorney that is right for your estate plan.
Is Having a Power of Attorney Enough for My Estate Plan?
A power of attorney is a vital part of any estate plan, but it’s not the only thing you need. You should also have a will or trust in place to ensure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes after you die. An advance directive can also be used to appoint someone to make medical decisions on your behalf if you’re unable to do so yourself.
If you don’t have a power of attorney or any other estate planning documents in place, contact us today. We can help you create the documents you need to protect yourself and your loved ones.
Is Hiring an Estate Planning Lawyer Worth It?
Some people choose to create their estate planning documents without the help of a lawyer. However, this is not always the best idea. Estate planning can be complex, and if you make a mistake, it could have serious consequences for your loved ones. An experienced estate planning lawyer can help you avoid these mistakes and ensure that your documents are valid and legally binding. Contact us today at 508-571-5452 to get started.