The idea of giving up control over your financial or medical decisions in the future is not easy. However, there are circumstances in which you might not have the capacity to make these life-changing decisions on your own. Fortunately, a seasoned estate plan attorney could help you be prepared so your wishes are still followed.
A power of attorney (POA) is a document that empowers a third party of your choice to make important decisions on your behalf. Discussing your options with a Prescott power of attorney lawyer could help you understand the benefits that come with these estate planning tools.
There are different rights a power of attorney could grant. The specific rights depend on the language of the document and the intention of its creator. However, there are two broad categories of decisions these documents could apply to.
The first type of power of attorney deals directly with medical decisions. These medical powers of attorney allow an individual to make important healthcare decisions on behalf of the document’s creator. Typically, the person serving as healthcare of power attorney will have a thorough understanding of the principal’s healthcare needs. The rights given through a medical power of attorney could be broad, or they could be limited to very specific decisions regarding an individual’s care.
A power of attorney could also cover financial decisions. Known as financial powers of attorney, these individuals could take on tasks related to the principal’s income, debts, or taxes. Like a medical power of attorney, these powers could be exceptionally broad or very limited in scope. For example, a power of attorney could give only the power to pay certain bills each month while leaving major financial decisions in the hand of the document’s creator. A POA lawyer in the area could assist with drafting either narrow or broad language in these documents.
One of the benefits of a power of attorney is the flexibility that comes with these legal documents in order to meet the creator’s specific needs. One of the important distinctions to make regarding these documents is whether it is a durable or springing power of attorney. A durable power of attorney goes into effect the moment the creator signs the document. It can remain in effect throughout that person’s life and be in place should the individual become incapacitated.
Alternatively, powers of attorney could be “springing.” A springing power of attorney will not go into effect right away. Instead, the powers of this document spring into effect the moment the creator becomes incapacitated. The medical professional must certify that the creator is incapacitated before it will formally go into effect.
Each of these powers of attorney have their advantages and drawbacks. Before deciding on what type of power of attorney to select, a Prescott resident could benefit from discussing their options with an attorney first.
Creating powers of attorney is an important decision that should not be made alone. While the thought of becoming incapacitated is difficult for many to accept, planning for the future could be in your best interest.
Let a Prescott power of attorney lawyer assist you with understanding your needs and developing an estate plan that is right for you. Call now to get started.
Willison Law, PC
New clients click here to make an appointment.