What Is A Power Of Attorney?
A Power of Attorney is a legally enforceable instrument that authorizes someone to handle your assets, medical, or personal and business finances. Although it may be unsettling to consider the possibility of requiring one, a Power of Attorney is an essential component of any estate plan.
A Power of Attorney is used by people who are unable to handle their own affairs, whether due to disease, age, disability, or just being gone for a prolonged period of time. It may be created by anybody over the age of 18, and it’s an initial step for individuals preparing for their future.
This a document granting your attorney varying degrees of influence over critical aspects of your life. This may be implemented right away or when you lose your capacity to decide.
Also, a Power of Attorney permits you to authorize somebody to manage your affairs if you are incapable of doing so. Without such a document, it would be challenging for your family to manage your money or make key decisions when necessary.
Purpose Of A Power OF Attorney
A Power of Attorney is a legally binding document that appoints someone to manage your assets, health care, and personal and corporate finances. The thought of having one may be discomforting, but a Power of Attorney is a crucial element to anyone owning an estate.
When you start losing cognitive capacity, it will be easier for your attorney to make appropriate choices and act on your behalf if the proper paperwork already exists. It is crucial that the person or individuals you select be those who are familiar with you and whom you have complete confidence in. Consequently, they are required by law to operate in your best interests.
Types Of Power Of Attorney
As a legal document, a Power Of Attorney can take various functions. Here are the different types of POAs which address specific needs.
Power Of Attorney For Property & Finances
A Power of Attorney for property enables an individual or the principal to grant authority to the agent over their properties. This includes money, investment portfolios, bank accounts, and other forms of assets. An agent is also known as an attorney-in-fact and is usually a loved one or a close friend.
When a person loses capacity without having a Power of Attorney for property, a judicial process may be required to select a guardian to handle the administration of a person’s assets. If family and friends cannot compromise on who should be chosen as guardian, the procedure may take a long time and cost a lot of money.
Power Of Attorney For Health & Welfare
Have you thought about what might happen if you were unable to handle your finances independently? Or make crucial choices for your health and welfare? Many individuals think that their closest relatives or friends, or their next of kin, can simply take over their assets once something unbearable happens to them. However, this isn’t the case; unless there’s an established Power of Attorney for health and welfare.
A Power of Attorney gives your agent the power to render decisions on your behalf. These decisions can pertain to matters concerning your health, including healthcare, daily routine needing assistance, and therapy. You should provide detailed guidelines as to your intentions, similar to the process of Power of Attorney for property and finances.
The Power of Attorney empowers the agent or the attorney-in-fact to work on behalf of the principal, but is not required to serve. They have a moral or other responsibility to accept the obligations connected with the Power of Attorney, but the Power of Attorney creates no commitment to do so. However, when an agent accepts a task, they have the obligation to work with prudence.
When Should You Obtain A Power Of Attorney?
Most people wait until they get older or when diagnosed with a health problem before they set up a Power of Attorney. You must not postpone until you begin to have mental impairments because this is enough reason to make you ineligible to obtain one. Additionally, there’s a chance that you could use an attorney to represent you when you’re still young, say in the event of a serious accident or a lengthy stay in the hospital.
There are a lot of people facing a crisis but do not yet have a Power of Attorney in place. Their family members feel frantic to make crucial decisions. They hope to get access to the assets of the principal to pay for things like health care, but they can’t because of the absence of a Power of Attorney. Sadly, attorneys providing Power of Attorney services can’t do anything but assist them in dealing with the Court of Protection.
Obtaining a Power of Attorney is an easy process, and The Estate Plan in Coral Gables, FL can assist you with it. They provide a carefully developed estate plan offering you and your family security and safety in the most perilous circumstances. They can also assist you in making and implementing your final wishes and in achieving your key financial goals. Its objective is to make the estate planning procedure as thorough and unambiguous as possible.
Persons Involved In The Power Of Attorney
The Power of Attorney is a strong instrument that requires the participation of specific people to be valid. If one is taken out of the picture, this will automatically be rendered meaningless.
The “principal” is the individual who creates the Power of Attorney and the one giving authority to another. They authorize another person to act on their behalf.
The “agent” is the person who receives the Power of Attorney and grants the right to take action in lieu of the principal. They are also known as an “attorney-in-fact,” This does not, however, automatically imply that the individual is an attorney.
Any competent individual above the age of 18 may act as an agent or attorney-in-fact. Agents should be selected depending on their dependability and credibility. Financial entities that have trust authority may also act as agents.
When fulfilling their obligations, agents must adhere to particular care guidelines. A “fiduciary” is a legal term for an agency, and a fiduciary relationship entails trust. If an agent abuses this trust, the law can penalize them both civilly and criminally.
A “third party” is an individual or company with whom the attorney-in-fact or the agent conducts business on the principal’s behalf, whether involving the principal’s property, financial, or medical matters.
Who Can Be Witnesses To A Power Of Attorney?
Regardless of the type of arrangement being established, certain conditions must be met in order to create a Power of Attorney. A non-enduring Power of Attorney must be in writing and bear the principal’s signature. The signature of an attorney is not required, but the signature of a witness is.
An attorney who has counseled the principal legally on the paper can be a witness. Alternatively, two adults of legal age can also serve as witnesses to a Power of Attorney. Witnesses are obliged to fill out a witness certificate in the format specified by the law.
What Are The Duties Of An Agent?
An agent is legally obligated to fulfill the duties and obligations delegated by the principal. They are legally required to operate in the principal’s best interests and to adhere to the directions and guidelines outlined in the Power of Attorney.
If an agent or attorney-in-fact fails to carry out their obligations, they would be held accountable for any losses or damages caused by their acts or negligence on their part. For instance, if the agent makes a financial choice on behalf of the principal that eventually leads to a financial loss, they would be held financially liable for it.
An agent may also be held accountable for activities taken on the principal’s behalf that are beyond the limits of the Power of Attorney. For instance, if the Power of Attorney expressly indicates that the agent is not permitted to sell the principal’s property but sell it nevertheless, they may be held accountable for any losses or damages incurred by the principal as a consequence of their actions.
To minimize potential liabilities, thoroughly analyze the Power of Attorney and ensure that the agent knows their obligations. Agents also have the right to seek legal advice if they have any concerns or questions regarding their responsibilities.
Things That An Agent Can’t Do For A Principal
Even though the Power of Attorney specifies that certain activities are permitted, there are still a few things that an agent is not allowed to undertake.
- An agent may not cast a ballot in a political election on the principal’s behalf.
- An agent cannot draft, write, or repeal a will or a formal agreement on behalf of the principal.
- If the principal was hired to render a personal service, such as painting portraits or providing treatment, the agent is not empowered to do so in lieu of the principal.
- If the principal is chosen as a trustee or is designated as a custodian or a guardian, the agent cannot assume these obligations merely on the basis of a power of attorney.
If you want to create a Power of Attorney, you might want to speak with a competent attorney in Coral Gables, FL. An attorney can assist you in understanding the implications of a Power of Attorney and in deciding what powers to include. They can also guarantee that specific safety measures are taken
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