Estate planning lawyers create different types of power of attorney documents in North Carolina to accomplish different goals for their clients. Certain types of POA documents are very useful to have as a standard part of your estate plan. Other types may be most useful in specific circumstances unique to your situation.
Understanding Powers of Attorney
When you grant power of attorney to another person, you give them the ability to act for you. You don’t give away your own power to act, but you share it with someone you trust.
The power of attorney document can set limits on how much power you share and how long you will share it. The person you grant power to is often referred to as your agent, and they do not need to be an attorney.
Financial vs. Medical
The two primary types of power of attorney documents grant power to make medical decisions and financial decisions. A health care power of attorney enables the agent to authorize treatment and decide other care issues when the principal person who created the power of attorney is unable to make or communicate their own decisions.
A financial power of attorney authorizes your agent to act on personal business such as transferring funds to pay bills and selling property. Many people refer to a financial power of attorney as a durable power of attorney, but the term “durable” has nothing to do with financial matters.
Durable Power of Attorney
A durable power of attorney remains in effect even if the person who granted the power becomes incapacitated. Traditionally, a power of attorney would expire if the grantor were to become incapacitated.
However, this made the document useless during the situations when it was most needed. North Carolina statutes now specify that a power of attorney is automatically considered durable unless the document creating it specifies otherwise.
Springing Power of Attorney
When you sign a properly prepared power of attorney document, that generally shares power with your agent right away. However, if you want that power to take effect only in certain situations, your lawyer can set up the power so that it only springs into action when a specific event occurs. For instance, you might authorize your sister to have a financial power of attorney only if a doctor declares you to be incapacitated.
Limited Power of Attorney
When your lawyer draws up a power of attorney, then can set any limits on the power that you choose. If you want to authorize an agent to have access only to a single bank account or authorize an agent to sign papers only while you are on vacation, you can do so. You can include an expiration date, or you can revoke the power at any time, as long as you remain legally competent.
Find Out How an Estate Planning Attorney Can Protect Your Future with Different Types of Power of Attorney Documents
Illness or accidents can strike without warning and could leave you unconscious for a considerable time. If you have your estate planning attorney prepare power of attorney documents, then a loved one can step in and manage affairs and authorize treatment until you are well. Financial power of attorney can also allow someone you trust to help manage the paperwork on a short-term or long-term basis.
At Salines-Mondello Law Firm, PC, we help clients meet a variety of needs with custom-crafted power of attorney documents designed for their specific situations. To find out how we could help protect your future with a power of attorney, contact our office at your convenience.