Powers of Attorney
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POWERS OF ATTORNEY
A power of attorney is a legal document which allows the drafter or “principal” to name an agent or “attorney-in-fact” to act on their behalf under certain circumstances. The attorney-in-fact can act on the principal’s behalf, and make legally binding decisions. The power of attorney can be granted broadly or in limited situations, such as poor health or unconsciousness. Given the different types and variations of a power of attorney, it is advisable to consult a lawyer with experience in estate planning before drafting one.
If a person is unable to act on their own behalf and has not executed a power of attorney, a court may find it necessary to appoint a guardian and/or conservator to manage that person’s affairs. If a court appoints a guardian and/or conservator for you, you may not be able to choose who this person will be. The court will also need to supervise the actions of your guardian and or conservator making the process more costly and time intensive for you the ward and your guardian and or conservator. Having a statutory Power of Attorney and Medical Power of Attorney in place prior to the time you may become incapacitated, is an excellent and cost effective way to avoid the costs and hassles associated with a formal guardianship and conservatorship.