Creating a power of attorney is strongly recommended for every person aged 18 and above. This document enables someone else to step in and take actions on your behalf. A power of attorney can be used to give another party the right to sell a home, car or other property in place of the principal. The principal is the person who creates the document.
A power of attorney can also be used to allow another person to sign a contract for the principal, to make financial transactions, sign legal documents, or even health care decisions. A general power of attorney gives the attorney-in-fact, also known as the agent, the ability to take on very broad powers to do pretty much every legal act that the principal could do.
When an experienced estate planning lawyer drafts a power of attorney, the document will list the kinds of things that the attorney-in-fact can do. It is important to discuss with your estate planning lawyer whether you want these to be specific or general. Furthermore, discuss the possibility of a durable power of attorney with your estate planning lawyer.
A typical power of attorney terminates if and when the principal becomes unable to act, for example, due to dementia. If a power of attorney terminates in those situations, they are not very useful to have someone else act for them if you are no longer able to act for yourself. This is why a durable power of attorney remains effective even if a person does become incapacitated.
Discuss the opportunity to create a power of attorney document with a knowledgeable estate planning lawyer. Our office in Pasadena, CA is here with estate planning lawyers who can give you individual suggestions on accomplishing your legacy goals.