In the unfortunate event you are incapacitated due to injury or illness, you want someone you trust to protect your interests. Granting someone a power of attorney gives them the authority to make decisions on your behalf and manage your affairs. Powers of attorney can also be helpful if you will be absent for some reason and unable to handle specific business or personal transactions.
If you or a loved one are interested in learning more about this estate planning tool, a knowledgeable Kernersville power of attorney lawyer could explain the various types and how each could benefit you, depending on your circumstances.
A power of attorney, or POA, is a document or other record that authorizes another person to act as someone’s legal agent. According to the General Statutes of North Carolina §32C-1-102(11), the person granting authority in a power of attorney is a ‘principal.’ Under § 32C-1-102(1), the person given authority to act for a principal under a POA is an ‘agent’ or ‘attorney-in-fact.’
An agent’s authority may be limited or very broad. An experienced power of attorney lawyer could help determine what to include in the legal document.
Under state law, a person may have a general power of attorney or special power of attorney. A general POA allows the agent to take any action that the principal could legally take in personal or business matters. A special power of attorney limits the agent to act only in the ways stated explicitly in the document.
Some of the actions an agent may take on a principal’s behalf include:
When a power of attorney is ‘durable,’ the agent may make decisions on the principal’s behalf if they become incapacitated.
State law also provides for a healthcare power of attorney. This POA allows an agent to make medical decisions for a principal who is mentally incompetent, unconscious, or otherwise incapacitated and unable to direct their medical care. A skilled power of attorney lawyer is well-versed in North Carolina’s Uniform Power of Attorney Act and could ensure that the POA accomplishes a client’s specific goals.
It is generally not advisable for a power of attorney to be indefinite, and an expiration date may be written into a POA. If there is no expiration date, under state law, a power of attorney automatically terminates when any of the following occurs:
It is essential to understand how and when to effectively terminate a power of attorney to protect one’s interests. A knowledgeable lawyer could explain the requirements for revoking or terminating a POA.
While a POA may be accepted for most purposes, certain actions of a personal nature cannot be delegated to another person. For example, a power of attorney cannot authorize a person to execute someone else’s will. Additionally, a marriage ceremony may not be performed via a POA.
If you become unable to make decisions for yourself or need someone to conduct a transaction in your absence, a power of attorney can be a useful tool. When granting a power of attorney, you have broad discretion over the authority you give to another person to act on your behalf.
A skilled Kernersville power of attorney lawyer at Apple Payne Law can explain what a power of attorney is and whether it is a good option in your situation. One of our firm’s capable attorneys would then create the legal document and ensure that it satisfies the state’s legal requirements. Call today to discuss how a power of attorney can provide you and your family with peace of mind.
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