Powers of Attorney
While a Power of Attorney may seem simple, it is a powerful legal document that can play a critical role in the event that you are unable to handle your affairs.
A Power of Attorney provides authorization to another person, referred to as an attorney-in-fact or agent, to act on your (the principal's) behalf. A Power of Attorney is used for many things, such as legal, financial and business transactions or one can be implemented as part of an estate plan for all decisions, including medical decisions.
A Principal can provide a general authorization to an agent for them to make all decisions on their behalf, including medical and financial decisions in a General Power of Attorney. Or the principal can restrict permission to only allow an agent to act in certain areas or specific situations in a Limited Power of Attorney.
Although there are different types of Power of Attorney. The four most common types include the following:
- Non-Durable Power of Attorney Often referred to as a general power of attorney. It becomes ineffective and expires upon the incapacity, mental incompetence or death of the principal, or it may expire upon a specific action, event, or stated time. If no expiration is provided, it must be revoked by the principal in writing.
- Durable Power of Attorney Is also often referred to as a general power of attorney and is very similar to a non-durable power of attorney, but a durable power of attorney does not expire upon the incapacity or mental incompetence of the principal.
- Limited Power of Attorney or Special Power of Attorney This restricts authority to a specific transaction, act, or specific event such as only handling financial decisions, medical decisions or often the specific purchase of an item where a principal can’t personally be present.
- Health Care Power of Attorney This allows an agent to make medical decisions, in the event that the principal is unable to do so.
Without having a Power of Attorney in place, or another similar legal document in your estate plan, it would mean that your family and loved ones would not be able to make decisions or act on your behalf when they need to.
Without a Power of Attorney, your family members would need to involve the court to seek guardianship of the person and/or guardianship of the estate. Pursuing a guardianship through the court is costly and time-consuming. In addition, it could result in a person being granted control over you, your finances, and medical decisions that you would not personally have chosen.
Daren Gum understands that it is critical to prepare for the future and protect yourself and assets. Daren can assist you in creating a customized Power of Attorney that carries out your desires without the exorbitant expense of an overly complex estate plan. Daren is dedicated to assisting his clients in creating a well-crafted Power of Attorneys to protect their interests and carry out their wishes. If you are in need of a Power of Attorney or if you need to update or revoke an existing Power of Attorney, contact Daren today for a consultation at (828) 329-3825.