Power Of Attorney
Despite its name, “power of attorney” is not blindly choosing an attorney to have power over your entire legal and financial life. In fact, the process doesn’t appoint a lawyer at all! A Power of attorney is a legal document that allows another person (referred to as an agent or attorney-in-fact) to act on your behalf. It can be limited to one task, or broadly applied to your financial affairs.
What are the types of power of attorney?
- Limited: You appoint one person to sign or consent on your behalf for a specific task. For instance, if you’re signing for a mortgage but cannot be present, you could give someone power of attorney to sign for you.
You should always notify the third party receiving the signature or other action that you are going to use a limited power of attorney before the transaction, in case they need more information or paperwork.
- General: This form of power of attorney gives someone the ability to act on your behalf in a large number of ways.
The actions you allow someone to carry out on your behalf should always be outlined specifically.
This general form may have a specific time period or circumstance attached
- Durable: This type allows someone to act on your behalf while you are financially capable, and while you are incapable.
In other words, if mental incapacity or health issues prevent you from acting on your own behalf, someone with durable power of attorney could make financial decisions for you.
It should be noted that the types of power of attorney discussed here do not give someone the right to make health decisions for you. Power of attorney is for financial matters only. You will need a separate document (called an advanced directive) to appoint someone as medical power of attorney.
How do I create a power of attorney?
While it’s possible to search online and even find a power of attorney form, we recommend seeking an attorney to help you through this process. These general forms may not fit your current situation or needs, may not be specific enough, and may end up causing you more harm than good.
A licensed Oregon power of attorney lawyer can guide you through the entire process, making sure the document is exactly what you need, in order to protect you and your assets.
Do I need a Power of Attorney Lawyer?
You don’t need a lawyer in order to appoint power of attorney to someone else, but it’s highly advisable. If you’re appointing power of attorney for a specific reason or only to perform a specific task, it’s even more important to hire a qualified power of attorney lawyer. An attorney who’s experienced with power of attorney, wills, and estate planning can make sure your power of attorney performs exactly as it should.
If you believe you need or want a power of attorney, you will most likely also benefit from having a lawyer help you with drafting the document.
If you are completing a new power of attorney declaration, it’s even more important to make sure you follow every step of the process precisely. Power of attorney is not a legal document that should be signed or changed lightly.
Should I reevaluate my power of attorney every year?
We recommend reviewing power of attorney at least once a year. By keeping in contact with your power of attorney lawyer, you can ensure the protection of your financial and legal well-being.
If you’re interested in appointing a limited, general, or durable power of attorney, call Trillium Law, PC, for a consultation. We specialize in estate planning, all while protecting our clients’ assets and decisions.