Power of Attorney
Springing, Immediate, and Durable Power of Attorney Denver CO
As important as it is to make plans for what will happen to your money and property after you have passed away so that your loved ones are taken care of when you are gone, of equal importance is planning for the potential that you won’t be able to take care of your financial and medical needs due to illness or an unforeseen accident. A will does not provide the authority that a power of attorney gives to a person you choose to oversee your health and financial choices if you aren’t able to do so for yourself.
How easy it is to assume that your parents, spouse, or another relative or friend can step in and make decisions, should you be unable to do so. Unfortunately, without specific authority, that is not usually the case. Our Denver estate planning attorney will help make sure you have what you need if someone needs to act on your behalf.
If you become incapacitated or unable to take care of your business, it can be an expensive, time consuming and draining process for someone to go into court and get the authority to do what needs to be done. And, in such a circumstance, who you might want to do those things for you might not be the one the court appoints as your conservator (financial affairs) or guardian (medical affairs). This is why it’s good planning to carefully select who you want to act on your behalf and discuss with them how you want things to be handled. It is particularly important if you are a small business owner or in a nontraditional relationship.
Durable Power of Attorney
A general power of attorney authorizes people you choose (called your agent) to take care of your financial affairs when you cannot or when you are unavailable (e.g. travelling out of the country). In your power of attorney, you clearly state what your agent can do for you, which actions may be very broad or quite limited, depending on the circumstances. You may give authority for day to day type activities like paying your bills and making deposits at your bank, or for more involved transactions like handling your retirement accounts and life insurance policies or bringing a lawsuit on your behalf. Without this document in place, if you can’t take care of your business, someone will have to go to court to get authority to take action on your behalf. This can be time consuming and expensive, and may not be who you would have selected or what you wanted to have done.
A power of attorney can give your agent a great deal of authority and power over your affairs, the legal language is complex and easily misunderstood. As a result, there are numerous potential landmines that could result in not having the outcomes you want. For the legal advice you need to have good documents, call my Denver CO estate planning law office at 303-562-5973 today.
A word of caution when using Internet legal services or generically prepared powers of attorney found in books and office supply stores – One size does not fit all. You may not understand what authority you are giving to someone else, whether you are giving too much authority or too little authority or authority about something that isn’t what you are trying to accomplish. These are documents that are easily misunderstood and abused.