Understanding Powers Of Attorney And Why You Should Have One Or More

A power of attorney is valid while the person who made it is still alive. Once he or she dies, it loses its power. It is common for someone (such as a spouse or adult child) to be named in a power of attorney as the attorney-in-fact as well as named in the will as the executor (personal representative) applicable after death.

The power of a power of attorney is that it gives the person named as attorney-in-fact the ability to act as if he or she were the person who made the power of attorney (the principal). The specific powers or uses of the document are defined within it; for example:

  • A durable power of attorney for health care grants the designated person the ability to make health care decisions including withholding or withdrawing of life-sustaining treatment.
  • A durable power of attorney for financial purposes gives the attorney-in-fact the ability to manage the principal's checking accounts, savings accounts, safety deposit boxes, securities, investments and more.
  • A general power of attorney gives the designated the right to conduct any financial transaction on the principal's behalf, but it does not apply if the principal is medically incapacitated and unable to make his or her own decisions.

Powers of attorney (POAs) can be written to apply only to a specific period of time to account for temporary events such as:

  • During a cruise
  • During a trip abroad
  • During surgery

Powers of attorney can be revoked by the principal at any time.

In practical terms, powers of attorney often help families function smoothly during times of crisis. A family member or other designee with a power of attorney will not need to ask a judge to grant him or her the ability to make health care decisions or manage the financial affairs of the principal in times of need.

Rippy, Stepps & Associates Are A Trustworthy Source Of Information, Advice And Assistance

Understand the power of attorney document that you are about to put into place, and make sure it is signed properly. Consult with estate planning lawyers for help with any power of attorney in central Arkansas. Call 501-358-3932 or send a message through this website to request an appointment with an Arkansas attorney about living wills, powers of attorney and other legal instruments, for the sake of your peace of mind.