Why You Need a Power of Attorney
There are various types of power of attorney documents along with a variety of reasons as to why and when each type might be utilized. Having a power of attorney in place can act as a safety net for your health, finances, and family should something happen to you. A power of attorney (or POA) may be suited for you if will be in a position now or in the future where you want to permit another person the legal right to perform certain acts on your behalf.
At the Martens & Brusseau Law Corporation, our power of attorney lawyers in Visalia can help you understand why you need a POA and what options are available to you.
To discuss your situation during a free consultation, call us at (559) 622-8640 or contact us online today.
Circumstances Warranting a Power of Attorney
A power of attorney is helpful in the following scenarios (but not limited to these situations):
- A single person may benefit from designating someone to legally control their financial transactions should they become incapacitated.
- A married couple may designate the other spouse as a POA on an estate plan should one of them become incapacitated or pass away.
Durable Power of Attorney
A durable power of attorney can be considered the most important of all legal documents. It is used to give another person full legal authority to make health care decisions, carry out financial transactions, or sign legal documents that the principal (you) cannot do because of extenuating circumstances.
While a general power of attorney document ends with the principal's death or incapacitation unless otherwise rescinded, a durable power of attorney remains in effect.
Immediate v. Conditional Power of Attorney
An immediate power of attorney grants authority to the designated person or "agent" in the terms of the document upon signing of the power of attorney. A conditional or "springing" power of attorney only grants authority to the designated agent when the principal becomes mentally incapacitated. This typically needs to be supported by the signature of a physician.
Limited/Special Power of Attorney
A limited or "special" power of attorney gives less than full authority to the designated "agent." While a general power of attorney document grants the agent broad and full authority, this type limits the power and often grants only a few very specified powers that apply to a single situation or transaction or for a designated amount of time.
A power of attorney agent needs to be someone you can trust, particularly with finances and health care. The POA may also extend to child care in certain situations.