If Something Happens To You, Do You Have Someone Designated to Make Medical and Non-Medical Decisions?
A power of attorney is a legal document that grants an individual, often a family member, the authority to make financial and/or medical decisions on your behalf, even if you become incapacitated.
Powers of attorney can be complicated. The person who holds power of attorney is called the "Agent" or "Attorney in Fact." People considering appointing an agent to manage their affairs should hire a lawyer who understands powers of attorney, like one of the highly experienced lawyers at Elder Law Lexington.
Understanding the Circumstances in Which Power of Attorney May Be Necessary
It is most important that individuals choose to have a power of attorney drafted if they have been recently diagnosed with dementia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, cancer, or some other disease that may require long-term care. Many people consider power of attorney an asset to protect their rights and wishes as they age. Elder Law Lexington can help you make the right decisions.
Who Should You Choose to Be Your Power of Attorney?
When choosing someone for agency by power of attorney, it is important to first consider who will be responsible for making decisions on your behalf, as well as what decisions they will be permitted to make. You should only grant power of attorney to people you trust. How your power of attorney is drafted can stipulate what kinds of decisions can be made on your behalf. 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 or their loved ones. If you become limited through illness, injury, or aging, you can appoint another person to handle your finances and healthcare decisions through a power of attorney.
A "Durable" power of attorney allows the agent to act even if the principal is incapacitated.
There are Different Power of Attorney Agreements:
- Durable Healthcare Power of Attorney
- Durable General Power of Attorney
- Limited or Special Power of Attorney
When it comes to a power of attorney, contact the experienced lawyers at Elder Law Lexington to be of assistance to you.
What Can My Power of Attorney Do?
An agent can only do what the specific provisions of the documents say the agent can do. A power of attorney can cover a wide variety of things, mainly dealing with property and finances. A person can give another person or loved one the authority to act on their behalf in regards to any of the following types of transactions without giving up control.
These Transactions Can Include:
- Real property transactions
- Tangible personal property transactions
- Stock and bond transactions
- Commodity & option transactions
- Banking transactions
- Insurance & annuity transactions
- Estate transactions
- Personal & family matters
- Benefits from Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, or other government programs
- Tax matters
Powers of attorney can serve the same objectives as advanced directives or living wills, often called medical power of attorneys. Often referred to as contingency documents, POAs can be term-limited or good until revoked. Making alterations or creating a new POA is as simple as destroying the document and creating a new one, preferably with the assistance of a qualified attorney at Elder Law Lexington.
Unlike guardianship, a power of attorney creates a permissive relationship between the person granting the power and a person receiving the authority to act as an agent. One of the most important aspects of a power of attorney is that the principal can revoke it. Some people confuse a power of attorney with a guardianship. On the other hand, a guardianship is court-appointed and involves some or all of the person’s rights and responsibility given to the guardian.
Contact us at Elder Law Lexington, and let us be of assistance to you.