Powers of Attorney (POAs) are legal documents in which you authorize someone you trust to handle certain personal matters for you when you are unable to do so. The individual you name in the document is known as your “agent” or “attorney in fact.” You may grant the person limited or complete power in the matter covered by the document. POAs are a common document in estate plans and, in most of them, they are “Durable” POAs, meaning they remain in effect should you become incapacitated.
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Durable Powers of Attorney can be established for healthcare matters. In this document, you name a family member or friend to make decisions about your medical treatment should you become unable to voice your wishes. These POAs are generally more useful than the healthcare proxy portion of an Advance Directive. It goes into effect at any time you become unconscious or unable to make medical decisions, not just in end-of-life situations. The person named in this Durable POA can make decisions even if you are temporarily unconscious.
Because of the serious nature or responsibility associated with a Durable POA for healthcare, it is important that you name someone you trust as your “agent.” Generally, spouses or family members are named. You will want someone who understands your personal values and who will act on your behalf with directions that align with those values or what you have expressed to the person beforehand.
Attorney Leslie of Leslie & Associates has been providing advice and representation in creating comprehensive estate plans with documents designed based on your needs and goals. Whether your need for a Power of Attorney is related to your estate plan or not, he can assist you in the drafting and implementation of this document to ensure that it meets legal standards and does what you mean it to do, whether on a restricted or unrestricted basis.
Durable Powers of Attorney for Property & Finances
These POAs also give your named “agent” the authority to make property or financial decisions when you are unable to do so. The powers you grant may be comprehensive, including all business and/or financial affairs, or limited to a specific power, such as acting as your agent in a real estate sale. These powers remain in effect should you become incapacitated unless you explicitly state that they are terminated upon incapacitation.
Powers that can be granted in these types of POAs can include:
- Management of your financial accounts, such as bank accounts
- Management of an investment account, such as for stocks and bonds
- Management of real estate transactions or issues
- Management of a business
- Management of your tax obligations, such as filing tax returns
- Management of your retirement accounts or plans
- Management of government benefits
For POAs to be effective, you must be of sound mind so that you understand the implications of authorizing another to handle your affairs. It is also recommended that they be notarized to ensure the authenticity of your signature.
Ready to Create Your Durable Power of Attorney?
Our Tulsa will lawyer at Leslie & Associates is ready to help protect your legacy. We can assist you with efficiently drafting a will that reflects your estate planning goals and final intentions. We can generally prepare wills within one week if you come to your initial consultation with a thorough understanding of your asset holdings and objectives.
If you need a Durable Power of Attorney for any reason, whether you are traveling outside of the state or country, or as part of your estate plan, you can rely on Leslie & Associates. Our firm has been handling these and other important documents to ensure that your present and future needs are met when challenges arise. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help and provide these important legal protections.