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Power of Attorney

A power of attorney is an estate planning document that allows you to appoint another party to handle your affairs when you are not unable to do so. The person that is giving the authority is called to “grantor” and the person receiving the authority is called the “agent” or “attorney in fact”.

Continuous Management of Your Business and Personal Affairs

A power of attorney is an invaluable estate planning tool that can be used when the grantor (owner or proprietor) is unable or unavailable to manage personal and/or business matters. A power of attorney creates a serious legal relationship and must be executed while the grantor is competent and not subject to duress and undue influence.

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A power of attorney is an important document because it allows for the seamless and uninterrupted continuous management of a person’s household, business, financial matters and other affairs without the time and expense of a probate court order.

Types of Power of Attorneys: Limited, General, Health Care

A power of attorney can be limited in scope, for a specific task or time frame, or create a general grant of power and authority that continues indefinitely until revoked by the grantor. Types of power of attorneys:

  • Limited Power of Attorney: A limited power of attorney may be granted for a specific task to be performed by another person in the absence of the grantor. A limited power of attorney is commonly utilized in real estate transactions to allow an agent, or attorney in fact, to sign closing documents or purchase/sell/lease property for another party or investor.
  • Health Care Power of Attorney: A health care power of attorney is a grant of authority to another person (patient advocate) to make health care and life support decisions upon the incapacity of the grantor. A health care power of attorney is also known as a health care directive, patient advocate designation or health care proxy.
  • Durable Power of Attorney: A durable power of attorney can be drafted with limited or general scope and means that it remains in effect even after the grantor becomes disabled or incapacitated. If you become disabled without a durable power of attorney, your family members may be forced to seek a guardianship and conservatorship to manage your affairs. A guardianship and conservatorship entail court involvement and monitoring which can be costly and cumbersome. A general durable power of attorney is an important part of every estate plan and should only be granted to someone that is trustworthy, responsible and will not abuse the grant of authority.
You Cannot Sign a Power of Attorney If You are Deemed Incompetent

A power of attorney is usually prepared for financial matters and a designated agent or attorney in fact is capable of doing great harm to the estate of a grantor. An attorney may decide that a person that is not competent to execute a power of attorney. It is the responsibility of a lawyer to avoid preparing a power of attorney under circumstances where a person is deemed mentally incompetent, under the influence of alcohol/drugs, under duress or undue influence.

When a power of attorney is not an option, an interested party for an incompetent person may petition the probate court for the appointment of a guardian and/or conservator. Court proceedings can be cumbersome, expensive and limiting.

However, the probate court will require accountability and transparency for the protection of the incompetent party.

Same Day Appointment and Preparation of Power of Attorneys

We are equipped to meet you in person, assist you via emails or a Zoom meeting if you need a power of attorney. Be prepared to provide our firm with the following information:

  • Name, address, phone number of grantor and agent
  • Social Security number of grantor and agent
  • Legal descriptions of real estate
  • Bank and brokerage account numbers

We offer same day emergency appointments and same day preparation of power of attorney documents whenever possible. Contact ABDO LAW if you need a power of attorney, estate planning or for probate proceedings.

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