A power of attorney is a legally binding document. If you are creating a power of attorney, you are referred to as the principal or the grantor of the device. As the grantor, you name an agent or attorney-in-fact. When you create a power of attorney, you are giving the agent the power to act on your behalf in a legally binding fashion.
You can decide on the extent of the power that you want to give to the agent. There are general powers of attorney, and limited powers of attorney. With a general power of attorney, you are giving the agent the power to act for you under all types of circumstances. For the most part, the agent can enter into any type of legally binding arrangement that you can enter into on your own.
If you choose to create a limited power of attorney, you are giving the attorney-in-fact limited power to act on your behalf. To provide an example, suppose you are in Europe on an extended vacation. You have a real estate transaction that must be consummated in San Francisco while you are away.
You could empower an agent to sign the paperwork on your behalf for this single transaction.
It would also be possible to create a limited power of attorney that gives an agent the power to handle certain types of transactions, and this can be useful for some business people.
We focus on elder law and estate planning issues. In the estate planning realm, durable powers of attorney are utilized for incapacity planning purposes.
A power of attorney that is not durable would not remain effective if the grantor of the device was to become incapacitated. Durable powers of attorney do remain in effect even if the principal becomes unable to make sound decisions.
A very significant percentage of seniors do become unable to handle all of their own affairs. Alzheimer’s disease strikes around four out of every 10 people who are at least 85. According to the Social Security Administration, you will probably live into your eighties if you are fortunate enough to celebrate your 65th birthday.
This is just one cause of incapacitation, so you can see why incapacity planning is relevant to everyone.
There are different types of decisions that can present themselves: there are financial affairs, and there are health care decisions. To account for this, you could execute a durable power of attorney for health care, and a durable financial power of attorney.
If you do not execute durable powers of attorney, the state could be petitioned to appoint a conservator to act on your behalf in the event of your incapacitation. Most people would prefer to choose their own decision-makers.
We have prepared a special report on end-of-life issues. This report will provide you with a great deal of useful information, and it is being offered free of charge at the present time.
To access your copy, click this link and follow the simple instructions: Campbell CA Incapacity Planning.
- It’s Important to Have a Coordinated Estate Plan - August 11, 2021
- Trust Administration Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) - July 29, 2021
- Attorneys Justin M. Kennedy and Maggie A. LaBranch-Gonzales Selected as 2021 California Rising Stars - July 22, 2021