Power of Attorney
The power of attorney is one of the most powerful documents in the legal circles. In it, one person receives the power to act on behalf of another. The one who receives these powers is an attorney-in-fact. An agent could also assume such powers.
Legally, the person giving out or assigning such powers is known as the principal. In this instance, the principal is the client. The power of attorney document accords the attorney wide-ranging powers and authority.
Through these powers, the attorney-in-fact or agent can act on behalf of the client by making binding legal decisions. Issues that the attorney can make legal decisions concerning include the principal's:
- Real estate property
- Medical care
Types of Power of Attorney
There is more than one type of power of attorney. For this reason, it's imperative that you look at the power of attorney document closely to know what you're getting yourself into.
Generally, the power of attorney (POA) can be:
- Special or limited
- Springing durable
Therefore, exercise plenty of care during power of attorney legal translation to ensure that you get it right. Each type of POA is different from the other. For example, general accords the agent powers to do almost anything that the principal does.
However, a general POA ends under the following circumstances:
- Principal is incapacitated
- Principal revokes the POA
- Principal passes away
Under durable POA, another person acts on the principal's behalf. However, there is a slight variation here. The agreement features a clause that allows the attorney or agent to continue exercising the power of attorney even if the principal dies.
In specific or limited POA, the agent or attorney can only act on behalf of the principal in limited areas. For example, the attorney receives power of attorney to sell the principal's property only.
Springing durable POA differs from the rest too. In it, the power of attorney becomes effective when a pre-specified event occurs. For example, it might kick off when the principal dies or becomes incapacitated.
How to Choose the Best Power of Attorney
What should one look for before choosing the best power of attorney? Here, trust is the primary quality. Secondly, the attorney or agent assigned the power of attorney has to be great at keeping proper and accurate records.
More importantly, the agent appointed to act on behalf of the principal must be knowledgeable on the issues lying in wait. The last thing a principal would need is to delegate such powers to an ignorant or uninformed individual.
Sign the Power of Agreement
Lastly, sign the power of agreement document early enough. As shown above, you could prepare any of the four POAs well in advance. Remember to define the agent's or attorney's responsibilities clearly to avoid creating confusion.
The law allows you to appoint more than one power of attorney. It's your job to determine whether they will work separately or jointly, though. Before signing this agreement, you must be in good mental health.