Exactly How Does Power of Attorney Work?

Long Island Power of Attorney Lawyer - Law Office of Andrew M. Lamkin, P.C.Some people think that establishing power of attorney is only for the very wealthy, or those with pressing health concerns. In fact, it’s a good idea for every person to have this important safeguard in place. With the help of a good power of attorney lawyer, the process need not be complicated. To start, we’ll discuss a few different types of powers of attorney and how they work.

Types of Power of Attorney

  • General power of attorney. In essence, general power of attorney gives someone of your choosing the power to act on your behalf. This might involve managing financial transactions, settling claims, operating your business, or handling gifts. General power of attorney is useful for those who may foreseeably not be able to operate at their full mental or physical capacities. It can also be useful for people who travel abroad often, and need a trusted individual to have the right to act on their behalf in the U.S. General power of attorney is often included in an estate plan.
  • Special power of attorney. This works similarly to general power of attorney, but you specify exactly which powers you want your chosen agent to have. Commonly, these will include selling property, managing real estate, handling financial transactions, and collecting debts. You might choose to designate special powers of attorney if you have health concerns, or if you have commitments that draw you away from certain tasks.
  • Healthcare power of attorney. Giving an agent healthcare power of attorney gives that person the power to act on your behalf if you are medically incapable of making your own decisions regarding your care and treatment.
  • Durable power of attorney. Signing this order means that whatever power of attorney you have given your agent will remain valid. Certain situations and health conditions make it wise to have this document in place.

How to Establish Power of Attorney

The first step is to choose a trusted individual to be your agent. It might be a family member, a friend, or an attorney, but no matter who it is, you must trust them implicitly to act in your best interests. They should keep careful records of every transaction undertaken under your name. You may designate multiple agents, but keep in mind that doing so can result in delays when it comes to taking action. Once you have chosen your agent, it’s time to sign the power of attorney. You must be of sound mind when you sign the document, so if there is any chance that this could be called into question, you might consider having a doctor attest to your mental competency prior to signing.

It’s important to have an experienced lawyer working with you when establishing power of attorney. Contact us at the Law Office of Andrew M. Lamkin, P.C. for a consultation. We can help you develop a plan for how your finances and healthcare will be handled if an accident, illness, or medical condition renders you incapable of making these crucial decisions yourself.

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