In the realm of estate planning, one of the most prudent decisions an individual can make is to confer upon a trustworthy friend or relative the authority known as power of attorney. Once this occurs, that designated person will be able to make crucial decisions concerning your medical care, financial affairs, business and other key aspects of life in the event you are rendered unable or unwilling to do so yourself.
Though many may feel a sense of intimidation about the prospect of granting such significant control to another, the help of a DC power of attorney lawyer can prove invaluable in terms of demystifying the process and clarifying why it can be so very important. The first step in making an informed choice when determining precisely who will have power of attorney on your behalf is to have a discussion with an attorney practicing in this area of the law.
Key Facts About Granting Powers of Attorney
A legal term of art, a grant of power of attorney simply means that an individual gives a designated party the right to make certain, enumerated decisions on their behalf in the event of incapacity. Recipients of such a grant will be able to stand in the place of the grantor and ensure that important business, financial, healthcare or other functions can continue uninterrupted.
Categories of Powers of Attorney
Powers of attorney generally fall into two major categories, that of general powers and limited powers. General power of attorney is a broad grant of authority to handle a wide range of personal business matters.
It should be noted, though, that even with such grants, it is possible for specific limits to be placed on what the agent is able to do. A limited power of attorney will apply only to certain, defined realms of the grantor’s life, such as finances, business operations or the scope of desired medical care under specified circumstances.
Terminating Powers of Attorney
Anyone considering the benefits of granting power of attorney to a trusted friend, family member or colleague needs to understand the situations in which such a grant will remain effective and when it will terminate. Broadly speaking, these powers continue until a time specified by the grantor, at the time of the grantor’s death or upon the grantor’s incapacity.
Because of this, it is important to consult with a DC power of attorney lawyer who will be able to advise about the possibility of creating what is known as a durable power of attorney, which affords the agent continuous authority from the time of the grant onward.
Is a DC Power of Attorney Lawyer Truly Necessary?
With the advent of the Internet age, many have hailed the emergence of self-help legal websites offering a wide range of forms and checklists, including those addressing estate planning matters. However, the fact is that the process of giving another person power of attorney over your affairs is a very serious decision requiring in-depth understanding and professional guidance. Before making a choice of this sort, it is vital that you comprehend all of the distinct kinds of powers which may be granted, how each potential choice may impact fulfillment of your wishes and how or when the powers granted will expire.
Enlisting the assistance of a practitioner with vast knowledge of the process can prevent you from committing errors which may serve to undermine the ability of your intentions to be fulfilled. A DC power of attorney lawyer will be able to help you steer clear of common pitfalls which could prompt invalidation of your decision, cause undue delays in completing the necessary steps or result in your grant of power being declared unenforceable.
As with all estate planning tasks, the decision to grant power of attorney to another can have profound and lasting effects on you and your loved ones. Determinations of this type must not be made lightly, and it is important to avoid common errors capable of throwing your personal, business and financial affairs into turmoil.