What is a Power of Attorney?

It is always best to plan for the worst. While you will most likely never need one, a power of attorney can drastically help both you and your family in the long run. Should you ever become incapacitated, your family will feel far more comfortable knowing they are handling your affairs as you would have intended. Though a power of attorney is perhaps the dreariest part of estate planning, it is also one of the most important. If creating a power of attorney sounds like something that may work for you, please read on and get in touch with our compassionate estate planning firm.

What does a power of attorney do?

Powers of attorney are responsible for making your key life decisions, should you ever become physically or mentally unable to do so yourself. The principal, or the one who needs a power of attorney, will select an agent to enforce the power of attorney. The agent must always be someone you can trust, which is why people generally select spouses, children, parents, business partners, or another close friend or relative.

Agents in a power of attorney may pay the principal’s bills, make bank deposits and withdrawals, obtain medical records, file tax returns, buy and sell property, hire caretakers, transfer assets to trusts, and more.

Are there different types of powers of attorney?

There are various common types of powers of attorney, all serving different purposes for different situations and circumstances. However, you may also create a power of attorney that is unique to your situation, if you and your attorney agree it necessary. The five most common types of powers of attorney are as follows:

  • Non-Durable Power of Attorney: These are only valid for a specific period of time and are usually only utilized for certain transactions. Once the transaction is complete, or the principal becomes incapacitated, the non-durable power of attorney will end.
  • Durable Power of Attorney: These are activated once the principal becomes incapacitated, and will grant the agent complete control over several aspects of the agent’s affairs.
  • Medical Power of Attorney: Designed specifically for healthcare decisions, should the principal become incapacitated. A medical power of attorney will usually begin once the presiding physician agrees.
  • Special Power of Attorney: Special powers of attorney are used for one specific area. A principal may create multiple powers of attorney, with multiple agents. Very often, if someone owns a business, they will create a power of attorney for a business partner to make business-related decisions for them, should they become incapacitated.
  • Springing Power of Attorney: Springing powers of attorney take effect once a triggering event occurs. They are either durable or non-durable.

Contact our experienced California firm

Working with an experienced estate planning attorney, such as Jaci Feldman of the Woodland Hills, California, Law Office of Yacoba Ann Feldman, will ensure that you are taken care of when you need it most. Contact The Law Offices of Yacoba Ann Feldman to schedule a consultation today.