For older adults who are looking to keep their affairs in order, there are many questions that you can ask a qualified professional about older adults’ power of attorney. Do take note that these questions are of a general nature so always consult an attorney for professional assistance.
What Is a Power of Attorney?
A power of attorney refers to a legal document that authorizes another individual to act on your behalf. The authorized individual may also be referred to as an agent. A will provides instructions that need to be followed after an individual has passed, but a power of attorney takes effect while the person is still alive.
Can More than One Agent Be Appointed in a Power of Attorney?
Yes. One or multiple agents can be appointed depending on your personal needs.
What Are the Different Types of Power of Attorney?
A general power of attorney deals with most financial and personal matters. For more specific issues like medical-related concerns, a durable power of attorney is necessary. A medical power of attorney authorizes another person who gets to make a decision on your behalf when you do not have the mental capacity to do so. Based on your state of residency, you may have to create more than one power of attorney to ensure all issues are taken care of. An attorney can advise what types of power of attorney you will require.
When Does a Power of Attorney Take Effect?
There are many situations that a special power of attorney may be signed. A person may appoint an agent to act on his or her behalf for a specific purpose like for a set period of time or for a real estate transaction. A general power of attorney takes effect when the person who signed the document becomes unable to manage his or her own affairs. The person who signed the document is known as a donor and he or she must be examined by at least one healthcare practitioner to certify that the donor indeed does not have the capacity to manage his or her own affairs.
When is a Good Time to Create a Power of Attorney?
It is highly recommended to create a power of attorney when you are of sound mind to prepare for incapacity. As long as you are mentally sound to make a decision, the power of attorney that you create will be considered as valid. An older adult should consider creating it early while they are still in good health. If there is any reason that you need to re-appoint your agent, it can be done at a later date by having the original power of attorney revoked.
How to Revoke a Power of Attorney?
A new power of attorney needs to mention that any previous powers of attorney are no longer considered valid. It is also advisable to include this clause in a separate document. This document needs to include a statement certifying that you are of sound mind along with your name, stating that you wish to revoke the old power of attorney.