Power of Attorney Lawyer in St. Johns and the surrounding areas.
Power of attorney is a term people often hear but may not fully understand. Essentially, it is an arrangement wherein one person empowers another to act in their stead under specific circumstances.
It is often helpful to consult with an experienced St. Johns power of attorney lawyer for advice on how to craft your power of attorney. A knowledgeable trusts and estates attorney will explain your options, the costs & benefits, and help craft or revise a plan to suit your needs.
Situations Where This May Apply in St. Johns
While you can craft a power of attorney to cover any number of situations ranging from purely personal to business related, powers of attorney are most often used to allow a trusted person to step into your shoes so they may make financial and medical decisions on your behalf when you are unable to do so. It’s a common misconception in St. Johns that you only need the powers when you anticipate a potential medical crisis or event, but the reality is that you need to have a durable power of attorney at all times because you will not be able to anticipate all of life’s events. You cannot execute a power of attorney if you are incapacitated.
For example, you may want to grant a relative or a friend a medical power of attorney along with a living will so that they may make medical decisions on your behalf and carry out your decisions regarding end of life choices. This is important if you should ever end up incapacitated or in a persistent vegetative state. Other times, it is necessary to protect your assets and save your loved ones the pain of establishing a conservatorship by executing a financial power of attorney. This would allow a trusted person (professional or otherwise) the power to make financial decisions on your behalf, conserve your assets, and pay your bills. Yet other powers may be springing (only in effect in case of disability) or limited to certain transactions.
Different Types of Powers of Attorney
There are three primary types of power that may be granted under power of attorney. They are:
- Limited power of attorney
- Durable power of attorney
- Springing power of attorney
A springing power is inactive until the triggering event causes the power to “spring” into action. The idea is for the power to take effect when the person granting the power becomes incapacitated. The problem with springing powers is establishing the fact that the circumstance which triggers the power has indeed occurred. Thus, it would be wise to limit springing powers to events which are easily ascertainable such as physical incapacity due to being in a coma.
A durable power, as its name suggests, is a permanent power which lasts until it is revoked. A durable power is used to allow for the designated person or fiduciary to step into the grantors shoes in a certain area of the principal’s life such as financial affairs. There are ways to make a durable power more similar to a springing power such as instructing the fiduciary to not act unless necessary or withholding delivery of the document until the triggering events occurs.
Finally, a limited power allows the holder to act on behalf of the principal in a limited capacity. It is usually used for the purposes of a single transaction such as a purchase or sale. For example, a limited power of attorney is typically used for auctions or real estate transactions where the principal is unable to attend in person.
Consult a St. Johns Power of Attorney Lawyer
The powers conveyed through a power of attorney may be broad or narrow depending on the language of the document establishing the power. However, regardless of the reasons for giving the power, it is wise to pay careful attention and thoroughly understand what a document will and will not allow the designated person to do on your behalf.
When you work with a skilled St. Johns power of attorney lawyer, your legal advocate will explain the ramifications and advise you the right powers and limitations to fit your needs. For more information about how custom powers of attorney could enhance your estate plan and prevent catastrophe, call for a consultation.