What Is a Estate Planning Lawyer?

Estate Planning Lawyer

If you want to make sure your estate planning is handled by someone you trust, you may benefit from creating a power of attorney legal document.

What Is a Power of Attorney?

A power of attorney is a legal document that specifies a person or organization as an agent that will manage your property, financial, or medical affairs if you become unable to do so. While all states allow for a power of attorney, the rules and requirements differ from state to state.

A power of attorney can be limited in its scope, only allowing the agent to manage specific tasks, such as managing your end-of-life medical care or be more generalized. It can be temporary or permanent. It can take effect immediately or at a designated time or after a particular event.

Why Would You Need a Power of Attorney?

There are many reasons why you would need a power of attorney. If you become physically or mentally unable to communicate your wishes while being cared for by a healthcare provider, you may give power of attorney to someone to make such decisions for you. Or if you are unable to show up in person to close a business transaction that requires you to be present, you may require an agent to be present for you.

What Are the Types of Power of Attorney?

There are two types of power of attorney:

  • General power of attorney: This gives broad power to your agent to act on your behalf. This is often used in estate planning in you become physically or mentally unable to communicate your wishes. 
  • Special power of attorney: This gives an agent specific and limited powers to act on your behalf. This is typically used in business settings in case you cannot make an appointment in which you would otherwise need to be present.

What Else Do You Need To Know About Power of Attorney?

Make sure you can trust the agent for whom you’re granting power of attorney. You don’t want to select someone who has a reason to use his or her power of attorney for purposes that go against your wishes. While there is legal protection if the agent commits intentional misconduct, there is no protection if the conduct was accidental, which may cause some legal ambiguity.

A power of attorney legal document can be highly useful in situations that call for it. If you want to create a power of attorney document for estate planning purposes, which includes end-of-life care, contact an estate planning lawyer to make sure your wishes are carried out even if you are unable to communicate them.