Power of Attorney
Power of Attorney assigns permission to someone to perform certain duties for another individual. This form is frequently utilized with estate planning and is also used to enable an individual to make medical choices when a person can no longer speak for their self.
Giving power of attorney privileges is a very important decision that requires careful thought. Letting someone carry out financial transactions, make business decisions, or oversee healthcare choices can result in serious consequences if the person takes advantage of their position or does not perform duties.
There are several kinds of power of attorney forms that can be used. Each form involves a Principal and Agent or Attorney in Fact. Principals assign privileges and agents carry out tasks.
The most common documents include durable power of attorney, limited, special, springing, and healthcare. It is best to talk with an estate attorney or law firm to ensure the appropriate form is used for the type of duties required.
Durable power of attorney is a frequently used form because it grants sweeping powers to agents. This document becomes effective when the Principal signs it. Authority ends when the Principal passes away or revokes privileges. Powers can be extended beyond death by executing a power of attorney with durable provisions form.
Durable POA can be used for real estate transactions, business dealings, and personal finances. Privileges let agents conduct nearly any type of financial or legal transaction the Principal would normally do.
Medical power of attorney is used for various reasons. First, people can provide written instruction regarding the kind of lifesaving medical procedures they will allow or disallow.
Second, the document appoints a legal representative to communicate with healthcare providers. Healthcare agents are not involved with medical choices until a statement of incompetency is filed by the Principal's primary physician.
Once powers commence, agents are authorized to accept, refuse, or withdraw permission to carryout medical treatment or care. For apparent reasons, it is vital to discuss decisions with your agent and physician.
A third use of healthcare power of attorney forms is to grant permission to agents to obtain emergency medical care for minor children. This form is often used in daycare facilities, by private nannies and home daycare providers.
Special and limited power of attorney forms are used when agent duties are limited. A person might use a limited POA to permit their agent to take care of personal finances while they recover from surgery or travel out of the country.
They might authorize a realtor to buy or sell real estate or allow a relative to sell a car belonging to the Principal. Another use is to allow professionals to mediate with creditors or government agencies like theIRSor Medicare.
Springing power of attorney is used to authorize release of medical records from healthcare providers to agents. Powers are not effective until the Principal is unable to make decisions for their self.
Agents cannot make decisions without court authorization. Principals can revoke powers at any time unless the POA is irrevocable. Revoking powers from an irrevocable power of attorney usually requires help from an estate attorney.
Power of attorney forms are a vital component of estate planning. It is recommended to seek legal counsel to make certain forms are in compliance with state guidelines. For the most part, setting up POA forms isn't hard, but care needs to be given when selecting agents.
At Craton and Switzer, we specialize in estate planning and family law. We strive to help people learn about available options so they can make informed decisions. We invite you to browse our estate planning article library covering topics of probate, trusts, asset management, power of attorney forms, and estate tax.