A power of attorney is a legal document that gives a person the power to act on behalf of another person. Power of Attorney for Health Care · Financial Power of Attorney · Fact Attorney. If you do not have a power of attorney and cannot manage your personal or business affairs, it may be necessary for a court to appoint one or more persons to act on your behalf. Individuals named in this way are called guardians, curators, or committees, depending on local state law.
If a court proceeding, sometimes known as intervention, is needed, you may not have the ability to choose the person who will act on your behalf. Few people want to undergo a public procedure in this way, so it's important to be proactive in creating the appropriate document to avoid this. A power of attorney allows you to choose who will act on your behalf and defines your authority and limits, if any. In some cases, greater security against the imposition of a guardianship can be achieved if a revocable living trust is also created.
A permanent power of attorney is an alternative to guardianship only if it is granted before you become mentally incapacitated. To grant a power of attorney, you must have the mental capacity to understand what you are doing. Once you've lost that capacity, it's too late for you to grant a power of attorney. At that time, the court will have to appoint a guardian or conservator for you, if necessary.
You must specify in the power of attorney document which powers you are granting to your agent and when those powers will come into effect. In addition, the person to whom the power of attorney is granted has a legal fiduciary duty to make decisions that are in the best interest of the person they represent. Many institutions, such as hospitals, banks and, in the United States, the Internal Revenue Service, require a written power of attorney before complying with it and generally keep a duplicate of the original or a copy for their records. You can grant power of attorney to two or more people at the same time, or you can appoint a second agent to take over in specific circumstances (such as the death of the first agent).
Standardized forms are available for various types of power of attorney, and many organizations provide them to their customers, patients, employees, or members. For example, the California legislature has adopted a standard power of attorney for health care and advance health care directive form that meets all of the state's statutory requirements for a power of attorney and an advance health care directive in a single document. In addition to the power of your agent to make donations on your behalf, many powers of your agent are in fact governed by state law. Certain circumstances may trigger a desire for a power of attorney (POA) for a person over the age of 18.Depending on the jurisdiction, a power of attorney may be oral and, regardless of whether you are a witness, it will remain in court, just as if it were in writing.
Unless the power of attorney has been made irrevocable by its own terms or by some legal principle, the grantor may revoke the power of attorney by informing the lawyer of fact that it is revoked. A power of attorney may also be limited to medical matters, allowing the agent to make crucial decisions on behalf of an incapacitated person. You can revoke your power of attorney whenever you want, as long as you are mentally competent and comply with your state's revocation laws. A basic power of attorney is a fairly simple document that does not require legal assistance.
An initial power of attorney must be crafted with great care to avoid any problems by accurately identifying when the triggering event has occurred. It is important that the lawyer preparing his power of attorney draws up the document in a way that does not expose his lawyer in fact to unforeseen consequences of estate tax. Or you can specify a much wider range of powers of attorney, such as access to your bank accounts (known as general power of attorney). .