A power of attorney or POA is a legal document. It gives someone else your legal rights to make decisions on your behalf. The decisions can vary, and a POA can be as specific or general as you would like.
The person who is giving this power away is called the “principal.” The person receiving the power is referred to as the “agent.” By creating a power of attorney, you are designating someone else to make decisions for you and sign legal documents on your behalf.
There are a lot of reasons that you might want a POA. However, the most common reason is that you are preparing for a situation where you might not be able to make serious decisions on your own. These types of circumstances might be caused due to illness or incapacitation, for example. In some situations, you may want a POA simply because it is more convenient for someone else to be able to sign documents on your behalf.
A power of attorney is often used as one of many pieces of your overall estate planning process. They are often used when planning for long-term care, too.
Generally, yes. You can do this in a couple of ways. You can name just one agent with an alternate, or you can name more than one person outright.
It is a good idea to have an alternate power of attorney. This person will make decisions for you if your first choice is no longer available or does not want to act as your power of attorney any longer. They will only act as your POA if your first choice is not willing or able to serve.
You can name more than one person as your POA. These people will work together to make decisions for you. However, if you name more than one person, you should also consider a method to deal with disputes. You might need to have a third party involved to “break ties” when your agents disagree.
Talk to the team at the Law Office of Charles D. Stark for more information. We can help you create a power of attorney that works with your overall estate plan and accomplishes your unique goals.