Although many have heard the term “power of attorney,” some have no clue what it means or how it pertains to them.
There are complex details of this arrangement, however, the definition is relatively simple to understand.
According to Investopedia, power of attorney is “a legal document giving one person (agent) the power to act for another person (principal).”
The agent can be granted broad or limited authority, based on the requirements of the situation and what the principal (the person granting power of attorney) is comfortable with.
While not always the case, power of attorney is used in the event that the principal is disabled, becomes ill, or is not physically present to sign legal or financial documents.
Here are some of the decisions the agent can be given the power to make:
- Health care decisions, such as when to withhold medical treatment
- Financial decisions
- Gifts of money to others
- Recommend a guardian for underage children
Choosing a Power of Attorney in Bellevue Washington
Now that you know what a power of attorney is and how this relationship works, it is important to consider the next step in the process: choosing the right person.
When making this decision, it is important to choose somebody who is both honest and reputable. This is why most people rely on a family member, friend, or professional they have been doing business with for many years.
Signing a power of attorney may sound simple enough, but you are granting the other party a lot of power should you become incapacitated and/or unable to make your own decisions.
Power of Attorney can be Terminated
Just because you appoint somebody power of attorney doesn’t mean you can never make a change in the future.
This document can be voided, but you should think twice before doing so. Not only are you revoking the power of attorney, but you may be leaving yourself with nobody in his or her place.
Tip: if you are going to void and terminate a power of attorney agreement, make sure you are ready to replace it with another.
Hire an Experienced Attorney
Rather than navigate this legal minefield on your own, hire an experienced and knowledgeable Bellevue, Washington estate planning attorney to help you understand what goes into creating a power of attorney, who you should chose as your agent, and what you need to avoid along the way.
With the right attorney on your side, it won’t be long before you have the perfect power of attorney in place.