Powers of attorneys are important documents in estate planning. They help both the principal and their loved ones avoid unnecessary stress during difficult times. These documents can fill in the gaps in decision-making for matters that are not specified in the living will or the living trust.
Consult our seasoned estate planning lawyers for powers of attorney in Denver.
What Is a Power of Attorney?
A power of attorney gives one person (agent) the power to act and make decisions for another person (principal). These documents specify whether the agent has powers over the principal’s properties, finances, healthcare, or other aspects of the principal’s life.
Powers of attorney are most commonly used in situations where the principal is unable to make decisions themselves like when they become incapacitated after an accident or because of illness.
This power is usually given to a trusted confidant because it is assumed that they will act for the best interest of or according to the preferences of the principal.
This document is essential in estate planning because it covers decisions that may not be included in the other documents in the plan.
In Colorado, for example, the living or declaration of medical treatment will can only take effect if doctors deem death imminent. Meanwhile, a power of attorney can be used whether the principal’s incapacitated state is permanent or temporary.
Who Needs Power of Attorney in Denver?
Ideally, every adult should have not just a power of attorney, but an estate plan in place. The unpredictability of accidents and illnesses can become even more problematic without the right planning. In many cases, when one becomes incapable of managing their own affairs, it is already too late.
To avoid these instances, a well-written power of attorney will at least give you peace of mind knowing that someone will be able to make the important decisions for you.
What Is a Durable Power of Attorney?
A durable power of attorney basically means that the document can still take effect even after the principal becomes incapacitated. This is important because these are the situations when a power of attorney is truly useful.
Unless otherwise specified in the wording of the document, all powers of attorney in Colorado executed after January 1, 2010 are durable by default. For documents signed before this date, the wording should specify that it is in fact durable or else it will not be treated as such.
What Are the Types of Powers of Attorney?
There are generally two types of powers of attorney – a financial and a medical.
Financial powers of attorney give the agent powers over the principal’s finances, properties, assets, or whatever the document states. The authority of the agent can also be limited by the wording of the document. The agent can act in place of the principal in legal or financial transactions.
A medical or healthcare power of attorney is typically used when the principal is unable to make decisions regarding their health or treatment. The agent is entrusted with making these important decisions.
You can name just one person or two different people for these two important tasks. However, it is essential to choose people whom you know will prioritize your best interests. If you do name two people, it is also advisable that they can work together.
Both the medical and financial powers of attorney are key components of estate planning. They go together to make sure that all important decisions are attended to. This is also why it is integral that the wordings of these documents are thorough. Power of attorney lawyers can ensure this.
Are Powers of Attorney Revocable?
The principal can change or revoke a power of attorney anytime so long as have legal mental capacity. If this is in questions, the evaluation of a doctor may be necessary to prove the principal can still make these decisions.
In revoking a power of attorney, the principal needs to inform the agent, via letter, that the document is being revoked. The principal also needs to send a copy of that letter to the bank, medical facility, or any institution that is concerned with the power of attorney being revoked.
If the principal wishes to make changes in the wording of a document, they need to work with a lawyer for power of attorney to draft a new one to replace the old.
Choose Lewis & Matthews P.C.
Since we practice both estate planning and family law, we have the unique advantage of being able to better tailor your plans according to your preferences.
Whether you are considering drafting powers of attorney, establishing living trusts and wills, or other estate planning tasks, we can ensure that all your documents are carefully worded and that all the processes are streamlined.
Counties We Serve
Start your estate planning and draft those powers of attorney with lawyers from Lewis & Matthews P.C. Here are the counties we serve around Colorado: