Establishing power of attorney is one of the best things you can do to prepare for your future and the future wellbeing of your loved ones. However, knowing how to prepare for such events isn’t easy; it can be emotionally difficult and isn’t something you should have to manage more than one time. Because of this, it’s crucial to invest in expert legal advice from a Laguna Beach power of attorney lawyer.
Though you will ideally be in control of yourself and your resources indefinitely, the reality is that most people reach a point where they are unable to make decisions for themselves. In these situations, it is best to have a trusted person as your power of attorney.
Setting up your power of attorney is a serious process that should be done with the support of an attorney and your trusted family members. Estate planning attorneys can be especially helpful with the power of attorney process. When you go through the power of attorney process with the help of a licensed attorney, you can feel confident that the resulting document will be well-made and will be reliable if your power of attorney should ever need to exercise their role.
Here at the Law Offices of Davis Toft, we have years of experience with estate planning, trust law, and probate administration. For over 20 years, our expert lawyers have been assisting Orange County residents with their end-of-life documents and accounts. Our experience in this field allows us to give you the most comprehensive and complete support during your estate planning process. You can always trust that we have your best interests in mind, no matter what your situation may be.
If you are navigating the loss of a loved one, our probate services can be a significant asset for you. The probate litigation process is complicated, and many people get confused or lost when trying to determine how to proceed. Because our team has so much experience with both estate planning and probate litigation, we have a thorough understanding of the entire process. We are your best resource as you go through probate and mourn your loved one.
We are tenacious on behalf of our clients. We understand that our job is to protect your life’s work and the work of your loved ones. We craft documents and engage in litigation that supports your family’s goals and needs.
Power of attorney agreements are a common legal practice in each state. These documents allow a pre-chosen person to make legal decisions on your behalf in the event that you cannot. Normally, there are certain situations that only you can navigate. However, with a power of attorney, you can let someone else step in when you are incapacitated or otherwise unable to make decisions for yourself. This person is often referred to as an agent.
There are different powers of attorney that allow the agent to make different decisions on your behalf. These documents do not give the agent free reign over your life and resources. Rather, you get to outline the powers that they may have and the decisions that they are allowed to make if you are unable to.
Creating a power of attorney document is extremely important work. You need to be sure that the document is made correctly, or your power of attorney may be unable to fulfill their duties. This kind of mistake can easily put you in a difficult or dangerous situation that cannot be easily remedied. For a power of attorney document to truly work, it needs to be properly executed.
Conversely, if a power of attorney document gives the agent too much freedom, it can put you in a position to be taken advantage of. Though this is rare, it is important to be sure that your document is properly made to avoid confusion, problems, and even abuse.
Using a Laguna Beach power of attorney lawyer ensures that your document is formulated to meet your unique needs. We can help you to feel confident in your contract by answering all your questions, listening to your story and your goals for the document, and crafting an agreement that is legally sound, protective, and fulfills your requirements. Working with a lawyer to create your power of attorney gives you added security and peace of mind about your future.
Usually, individuals choose a power of attorney to step in for a specific scenario. In some situations, a person has more than one power of attorney for different areas of their life. In other situations, one individual covers multiple areas. The format of your power of attorney document is up to you. A durable power of attorney will remain your power of attorney until your death. Some people can name a power of attorney only during times when they believe they may need it, such as during major surgeries.
It is important to understand what a power of attorney can do for you. You can best learn this information by understanding the types of powers of attorney.
If you name a power of attorney to handle your healthcare, this individual will be empowered to make decisions about your health if you are unable to. Sometimes, these are difficult decisions, such as whether to continue life support, whether to continue with surgery despite risks, or other delicate questions. This power truly only manifests when an individual can no longer make a health decision for themselves.
Sometimes, a healthcare power of attorney makes daily decisions for an individual. This might happen when someone has advanced Alzheimer’s or a similar condition that prevents them from making sound decisions on an ongoing basis.
A financial power of attorney is empowered to make personal financial decisions and take actions on behalf of the person that they serve. A financial power of attorney may:
There are many other tasks that a financial power of attorney can handle on your behalf. A financial power of attorney can be broken into more specific categories:
When you have a general power of attorney for your finances, the individual can cover most financial matters. There are restrictions to this that are outlined on a state-by-state basis. However, for all intents and purposes, the general power of attorney can make most financial decisions on your behalf.
A limited power of attorney for financial matters means that your power of attorney can make only the decisions that you outline in their contract and perhaps only for a limited time. A limited power of attorney may only handle a single investment account, for example.
Some people use a limited power of attorney as a practical way to approach their finances. For example, if you plan to travel internationally for a year, you may give limited power of attorney to a family member so that they can handle any financial situations that may arise. This way, your finances are protected, but you do not have to be in the country to address any issues.
Not all powers of attorney take charge for an entire lifetime. Though durable powers of attorney last from the date of signing until the person dies, some powers of attorney act temporarily when it works for you.
Before you draft the necessary contracts and finalize your power of attorney, you need to choose someone for the agent role. Contrary to what the name suggests, a power of attorney does not need to be a legal professional. Rather, the agent needs to be a person you trust with serious matters in your life. Many people choose a child, sibling, or close friend to be their power of attorney.
It is usually important for your power of attorney agent to be younger than you. This helps to ensure that any aging or health issues that prevent you from handling your own affairs will not also be plaguing your agent.
Finally, it is best to choose your power of attorney based on their kindness, compassion, and your trust in them. This is preferable over choosing someone who has particular business acumen or financial prowess. Because this person has significant power in your life, it is better to trust them to act in your best interest. This is their ethical responsibility.
Our team has been helping people with their powers of attorney documents for over two decades. We are here to make sure that your agent and your power of attorney agreement protects you and has your best interests in mind.
For more information about how we can help you draft a power of attorney document of any kind, please contact the Law Offices of Davis Toft online today.