Many people actually think that a power of attorney is a person. Well, one can’t blame them especially for those who aren’t familiar with what it means. Simply put, a POA, or a power of attorney is a legal document that bestows upon an individual the right to act on behalf of the principal.
The person who creates the POA is often regarded as the principal while the designated individual is regarded as the attorney-in-fact. A POA becomes ineffective when the principal dies and it can only be activated by an individual who is mentally incompetent or incapacitated.
The agent can either have full authority to carry out legal or financial decisions for the principal, or restricted authority. Also, the principal can decide to cancel it whenever he or she wants to.
With the POA form, a principal can designated any POA to act on his behalf or represent him and his affairs in any given area when they become mentally incapable to handle things.
In drafting a POA, you can either decide to select one or multiple agents who will act as your representative in certain matters. You can also state if you want these agents to act solely or jointly. There are a few benefits that comes with hiring multiple agents. With only one agent, there exist some possibility that mistakes will be made whereas with multiple agents, mistakes will be at its minimum. The disadvantage of selecting multiple agent is that misunderstanding may arise when it is time to make certain decisions.
Power of Attorney Duties
When incapacitated by a certain illness or disability (especially one that affects your mental capacity) you will need help making certain important decisions. Here is where a power of attorney comes in.
- Assists in making choices for persons who lack the ability to make these decisions by themselves
- Assists in handling financial and legal issues
- Assists in making important medical choices for the principal
If an individual lacks the knowledge to execute a transaction or handle a financial or legal issue, he can decide to sign a POA and select an individual who will be his or her representative.
So many people believe that a POA is only useful when an individual suffers from a mental illness or a disability that robs them of the capacity to make the best decisions for themselves. A POA is very flexible, this denotes that it can be used in several areas. If you need assistance regarding a legal case that is out of your realm, or if you need help regarding a financial transaction; with this document you can select a professional to represent you. It is that simple. Even in estate management, a POA remains a very significant tool that can be used to manage the estate of a loved one who is incapacitated.
A POA may be quite similar to an estate executor but they are very different. In the case of a power of attorney, It can be terminated for several reasons such as the demise of the principal, if the principal decides to cancel it, a court finds it to be invalid, or if the agent, for some reasons decides that he or she isn’t able to execute the stated responsibilities.
When should you consider a Power of Attorney?
If you are looking at plans regarding a long term care, it is advised that you consider a power of attorney. There exist a few types of POA, thus, it is best you choose that which suits you and your situation.
Also, you may consider signing a power of attorney if there exist the tendency that you may develop a mental condition that could hinder your ability to make correct decisions.
Signing a POA requires you to have an in-depth insight into what the document entails, the reason behind the document, among other crucial things. A competent attorney will help you understand all you have to before signing the document; for this reason, you need to hire one. We boast of the best attorney and they can be of great help. Contact us and we will be willing to assist you.