The phrase “power of attorney” refers to the legal right of a person to make medical and financial decisions on behalf of someone else. At ElderLawLexington | McClelland & Associates, PLLC, we’ve been writing powers of attorney and giving legal advice to those involved in power of attorney situations since opening our practice. Our attorneys understand the formal requirements, agent’s rights and duties, “durable” power of attorney, revocation and other facts surrounding this legal relationship and we can help you navigate any power of attorney circumstance.

Power of attorney documents are designed to bring peace of mind to individuals who are beginning to consider what will happen to them if they are no longer able to care for themselves. You can appoint another person to handle your finances through a durable financial power of attorney should you become incapacitated through illness or aging. The person you appoint is your “agent” who can act on your behalf financially. A power of attorney is one of the most powerful and useful estate planning devices because the only alternative to the power of attorney is conservatorship/guardianship which costs more time and expense than a power of attorney.

Types of power of attorney documents include:

  • Healthcare power of attorney
  • Financial power of attorney
  • Durable general power of attorney

What are the differences between a general, limited and durable power of attorney? A durable general power of attorney gives the agent the full power to act on behalf of the principal and is effective upon signature or at a designated time and will remain effective even if the principal becomes incapacitated, disabled or incompetent. A limited power of attorney may only encompass certain types of transactions and/or may be limited in duration.

A durable healthcare power of attorney allows the agent to make healthcare decisions on behalf of the principal when the principal is not able to make their own. The “agent” can grant access to medical records and talk to healthcare providers.

Kentucky passed a new power of attorney law in 2018. A valid, durable power of attorney document must be validly witnessed and notarized to be legal. A statutory form means that the document contains the content recognized by state law as valid. Often families believe that a personal letter or a hand-filled out form is adequate to assume the responsibility to conduct their loved one’s affairs. It is not. The witnesses used cannot be the same people as named agents in the document.

ElderLawLexington has been giving legal advice to those involved in power of attorney situations since opening our practice.

A financial power of attorney can cover a wide variety of things, mainly dealings with property and finances. The principal may give the agent the authority to act in their behalf in regards to the following types of transactions:

  • Signing deeds and contracts
  • Real property transactions
  • Tangible personal property transactions
  • Stock & bond transactions
  • Banking & other financial institution transactions
  • Insurance & annuity transactions
  • Estate, trust & other beneficiary transactions
  • Personal & family maintenance
  • Benefits from Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid or other government programs
  • Retirement plan transactions
  • Tax matters
  • Nursing home admission

The attorneys at ElderLawLexington | McClelland & Associates, PLLC, provide a broad range of elder law services and various powers of attorney for people throughout Lexington and Central Kentucky. We are committed to helping people and families, while focusing on providing attentive and compassionate legal counsel, navigating you through every step in the legal process while protecting your interests and advocating for your rights.

For sound durable power of attorney advice in Lexington, KY, contact ElderLawLexington | McClelland & Associates, PLLC. Call Before The Fall ®