Everyone, regardless of age or health, should have a valid power of attorney. It is simply a must-have these days. Some think a power of attorney (or “POA”) is something only elderly or ill individuals need, but this is just untrue. Anyone can have a car accident, undergo a medical procedure, or even end up with a severe medical problem. This happens to young and old alike. A power of attorney is a straightforward and explicit document that helps healthcare providers and family members know your intentions and understand who is in charge of making tough decisions, in the event you are unable. Alabama law allows you to create various types of powers of attorney for different purposes.
The experienced adoption lawyers of Five Points Law Group can help you decide which powers of attorney are right for you.
Here are just a few variations of powers of attorney and what they do:
This type of POA names your agent as the person you want to make medical decisions for you, such as whether to continue or end treatment, whether a specific treatment will violate your religious faith, and so forth.
This type of POA names an agent who will be responsible for making financial decisions, should you be unable for any reason. These are broad and usually allow your agent to open bank accounts, change beneficiaries on life insurance policies, sell or purchase properties, make contracts, and even maintain and defend lawsuits on your behalf. Small business owners and those with complex estates should definitely consider having one in place.
As the name suggests, a limited power of attorney is “limited.” This means it serves a limited purpose, such as allowing someone to accept payment on your behalf for a one-time check.
By “durable,” it just means your POA will continue to be in effect even after you have lost capacity. Most Alabama POAs are designed to be durable, but the language of the document is important.
While the Internet is full of templates and quick documents you can print and sign, there are serious problems with signing anything without the careful advice of a knowledgeable attorney. Even the slightest error in the execution or witnessing of a POA can render it useless. Taking chances with something so important can leave you and your family unprotected at a time when it matters most. The best way to be sure you have a valid document that will hold up when it is necessary is to meet with an experienced estate planning attorney who can customize the documents you need.
If you are worried about what might happen if you were to become incapacitated, then you should definitely consider creating powers of attorney that will protect your rights and give your loved ones the peace of mind they deserve. Contact Five Points Law Group to learn more about how we can design powers of attorney for all of your specific and unique needs.