As part of the estate planning process, you should consider a Power of Attorney. A Power of Attorney allows you to give another person the authority to act on your behalf. As the “principal,” you have several options as to what type of power you wish to grant your “agent.” Depending on what you are trying to accomplish with the Power of Attorney, the trusted estate planning attorneys at the Law Office of Carey Thompson, P.C. can explore several Power of Attorney options with you in order to select the type that is appropriate to meet your needs. You may want your agent to have far reaching authority to act on your behalf or you may want their authority to be extremely specific and limited to one certain event such as attending a real estate closing on your behalf. Explore your options and find out more about what a useful tool a Power of Attorney can be by contacting the Law Office of Carey Thompson, P.C. today for trusted legal counsel.
What does a Power of Attorney Do?
What a Power of Attorney can accomplish largely depends on the type of Power of Attorney you put in place. In order to do this, you must choose an agent you trust to take on the level of authority you would grant them in the Power of Attorney. The purpose of the Power of Attorney may very well effect your choice of agent. While trust is always an essential element, some people would be more suited to be an agent for certain tasks.
A General Power of Attorney grants wide latitude to the agent. Extremely broad powers are granted. In fact, with a General Power of Attorney, the agent has the ability to take whatever actions you could take yourself. For example, under a General Power of Attorney, your agent can do the following on your behalf:
- Buy property
- Sell property
- Mortgage your property
- Close financial accounts
- Open financial accounts
- Transfer assets
The power will end upon the death or incapacitation of the principal. You also have the ability as principal to revoke the General Power of Attorney. If you have made the power durable, it will not terminate in the event you, the principal, become incapacitated. In that case, the power will only end at death. A Durable Power of Attorney must be put in place when you are of sound mind, prior to incapacitation.
A Limited Power of Attorney grants authority to the agent to perform a specific act. The authority can be limited to taking a certain action, to a specific time period, or to certain circumstances. For example, you might want to only grant the agent the power to attend one specific real estate closing on your behalf. You might also want to grant your child’s caretaker the ability to consent to any medical treatment your child might need only in your absence. A Limited Power of Attorney usually has a specified time for termination. If no such time is specified, the power will terminate upon the death or incapacitation of the principal.
A Health Care Power of Attorney will give the agent the power to make health care decisions on your behalf and this power will extend even in the event that you become incapacitated. The agent will have the authority to consent to medical procedures on your behalf. Make sure your agent has a clear understanding of your wishes regarding your medical treatment, especially as it related to end of life care or life support options.
Trusted Legal Counsel for Comprehensive Estate Planning You Can Count On.
Take control of your future by working with the dedicated estate planning attorneys at the Law Office of Carey Thompson, P.C. We pride ourselves in developing estate plans that meet the unique needs of every client that walks through our doors. Contact our office today!