Planning for the future is important at every stage of life. Whether you have business affairs to manage, assets to protect, or a family to care for, you have many legal options to ensure you have a plan if you cannot make decisions. One of those options is determining a power of attorney, which can assign someone you trust to take care of matters on your behalf, especially should something happen to you.
A Lincolnton power of attorney lawyer from Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC can work with you to assign a power of attorney and manage other aspects of your case. We want to provide you and your family peace of mind during our partnership.
What Is Power of Attorney? Do I Need One?
A power of attorney (POA) is a legally binding document that grants one or more people the power to make certain decisions if you cannot. For instance, consider if you were injured in a serious car accident and lapsed into a coma. Who will manage your personal and business affairs? That would fall to your POA.
Your POA document identifies the people who have the responsibility to manage your affairs. It also establishes what matters they’re allowed to handle and the level of their power.
An agent can be anyone you trust. It’s common for clients to pick a family member, such as their spouse or children, to have power of attorney. Others may choose long-time and trusted business partners. Your agent does not have to practice law or even have a law degree, but they should have a high level of integrity, so you know they will act with your best interests in mind.
Types of Powers of Attorney That Could Benefit You
The power of attorney document can be as specific or broad as you need it to be, so there are many different types of POAs that people choose. Each major type of POA outlines the level of control an agent (or agents) have and the aspects of your life they have control over.
General Power of Attorney vs. Limited Power of Attorney
A general power of attorney grants the agent(s) broad powers to manage your affairs, meaning they are not limited to one facet of your life. For example, you may allow your agent to manage all financial affairs, operate your business, and make decisions regarding life insurance and distributing assets.
A limited (or special) power of attorney grants more focused powers to an agent or agents, meaning they only have control over certain facets of your life or can only act in certain circumstances. For example, you may use a limited POA to grant your business partner power to make business-related decisions, but not decisions about your medical care.
Durable Power of Attorney vs. Non-Durable Power of Attorney
A durable power of attorney stays intact unless you pass away or revoke power of attorney. If you have a durable POA, you should regularly meet with your attorney to make sure the POA still meets your needs.
A non-durable power of attorney does not stay intact if you become incapacitated or pass away, after which a court will assign a conservator to take on these responsibilities. These POA documents aren’t as common but may be essential for temporary absences or short-term incapacitation that prevents you from finalizing a transaction.
Other Types of Powers of Attorney
Here are some other types of POAs, including special POAs you might consider for handling certain aspects of your life:
- Springing power of attorney: This is a general or limited POA that goes into effect when you’re declared incompetent or incapacitated. These solutions can serve individuals and families who want to have a backup plan in case anything should happen to them or if they’re anticipating a life-altering diagnosis.
- Medical power of attorney: A medical POA is in charge only of medical and healthcare decisions, such as emergency care and end-of-life instructions.
- Financial power of attorney: A financial POA is only able to make decisions regarding your finances, such as establishing trusts, allocating assets, donating assets, and more.
- Military power of attorney: This specialized POA allows active-duty service members to manage financial and personal affairs while they’re deployed. It can also be used to grant power to military spouses or other family members to handle medical decisions should the service member become incapacitated.
Do I Need a Power of Attorney in Lincolnton?
Whether you need a power of attorney is your decision. However, you should know that having a plan in place:
- Provides you and your family peace of mind
- Implements a trustworthy representative to handle sensitive matters
- Provides convenience for those who need decisions made in your absence
- Prevents any conflict from arising about who should take care of your interests
If you don’t have a power of attorney before you need one, you may not have control over who is chosen. The court may appoint one or more conservators for you in the event that you’re unable to manage your affairs.
Your power of attorney lawyer will be able to help you:
- Understand how many POA agents you need
- Pick what powers each POA agent has and what facets of your life they’ll manage
- Advise you on your POA prospects
- Determine when the POA should take effect
- Draft legally binding POA documents
- Understand your duties under a POA agreement, should you be named someone else’s agent
Trust Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC To Advocate for You
A Lincolnton power of attorney lawyer from Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC is ready to help you and your family today. We can provide you with the compassionate and professional care you deserve. Contact us today to get your case evaluation and determine whether a power of attorney is right for you.