A power of attorney formally appoints another individual to make important decisions on your behalf. The legal system will recognize these choices as lawful when invoked, and when your chosen agent is acting under the appropriate authority. You can decide whether or not you want your chosen agent to have broad decision making authority or limit it to only specific situations.
Many people choose to use power of attorney documents for very specific situations, but they can also be used for general everyday use depending on your individual needs. This can be most important for companies, for example, who use employees to make decisions on behalf of them for acquisitions. Likewise, an elderly individual who needs regular assistance may appoint a family member under a power of attorney to handle running errands or making regular payments.
This usually includes a broad spectrum of different kinds of actions that a company or person will need to cover, such as taking care of claims, managing health care, handling financial decisions, and more. If something is not listed inside the agreement or there is a very limited scope of the power of attorney agent’s options, the appointed agent will not have the authority to act on the person’s behalf.
Before you appoint someone in a power of attorney agent role, make sure that you discuss your specific concerns directly with your estate planning attorney. It is very important who you choose to appoint in this role as they may have a significant level of authority.
If you need help determining how to structure your power of attorney document, we can help. Contact our Pasadena estate planning lawyers today for a discussion about setting up your own power of attorney in California.