What Does It Really Mean to Hold Power of Attorney?

What Does It Really Mean to Hold Power of Attorney?

Have you ever known someone who was unable to manage his or her own affairs due to illness or incapacitation? If so, this person would have benefited from a power of attorney. This estate planning tool can help people protect their personal business affairs when they are unable to do so. Thus, it is important to consider creating this legal document long before it is needed. Learn exactly what is possible when someone is appointed with a power of attorney.

A Brief Explanation

In essence, a power of attorney grants another person the right to act on someone's behalf. In most cases, this authority will apply to one's financial and medical decisions. It can even be used to designate a person to care for minor children. In fact, there are four different types of powers of attorney that may available in a given jurisdiction. These include: a limited power of attorney, a general power of attorney, a durable power of attorney and a springing power of attorney. Each of these serves a particular purpose under different circumstances.

Defining the Powers

The amount of authority given to an agent can vary. In general, one can make the authority as broad or narrowly defined as desired. Those who are wary about giving complete power to another person should seek a limited power of attorney. This option can prevent against fraud and abuse. Before creating a power of attorney, it is a good idea to speak with an experienced attorney, such as Terry Spencer. An estate attorney can ensure that the power of attorney reflects the creator's true intent.

What Is a Medical Power of Attorney?

When most people think about a power of attorney, they are really thinking about the medical version. Residents of Utah can use the Utah Advance Healthcare Directive form to set this up. The form requires the identification of an agent, and directions regarding medical treatment. Healthcare providers will be bound to the directives listed on this form. It is important to consider all the possible outcomes of an end of life law plan to make the directive effective.

The Duration and Termination

The one thing that concerns many people is the duration of a power of attorney. Some mistakenly believe that the power is irrevocable. This is not true. In Utah, a power of attorney can be modified or revoked at any time. The only requirement is that the creator be of sound mind. Thus, as long as the person is competent, changes can be made in response to unforeseen circumstances.

Those intending to terminate a power of attorney should take a few different steps. First, it is wise to put the revocation in writing. The signing of the document should also be witnessed by a notary public. Additionally, it should be filed with the appropriate county office. Also, the chosen agent should be notified of the revocation. Taking these measures will help solidify the act.

Getting More Help With Powers of Attorney

As mentioned, it is important to work with an experienced lawyer during this process. An end of life law attorney can explain all of the potential options. In Utah, contact Spencer and Jensen PLLC for assistance with probate or estate law.

Tags: power of attorney, life law, Utah Advance Healthcare Directive

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