You may be shocked to find that many financial professionals suggest people designate a power of attorney as soon as they reach the age of majority, which is 18 in most states.
Having a power of attorney grants the authority to a third person, known as the attorney-in-fact or the agent, to make financial, legal, and, in certain cases, health-care decisions on another’s behalf. It is possible that loved ones cannot handle the health care and financial choices of any adult who cannot do it themselves if they do not have a power of attorney.
Preparation of Power of Attorney Documents
- An Ordinary Power of Attorney is only effective for as long as the principle can act for himself or herself, and it ends immediately if the principal becomes mentally incapable or dies while in the power’s possession.
- It is possible for a Durable Power of Attorney to continue in effect, even after the primary becomes mentally incompetent. It terminates automatically when the principle dies or when the principal revokes the power of attorney by informing your agent in writing.
- Immediately Effective vs. Springing Power of Attorney: The creation of a power of attorney gives individuals the choice of establishing a document that is effective immediately upon signing or one that is only effective under certain conditions, such as when the principal becomes incompetent. We refer this kind of power of attorney to as a springing power of attorney.
How to get a power of attorney?
If you need a power of attorney for personal use, you need to sign power of attorney forms in person and in front of a legal representative or a notary public before it becomes effective. It’s also vital to realize that no one must accept a power of attorney unless they want to. The forms that many banks, corporations, and organizations must use are special to them, and many of them have opted not to accept powers of attorney at all in their operations.
Take advantage of professional help to write a will, establish a power of attorney, draft an advance health care directive, set up a trust, and prepare other critical legal papers.