How You Can Benefit from Hiring a Probate Attorney
One of the more common legal documents that you can make for your estate is a power of attorney (PoA), which gives someone else the ability to make decisions as your agent. Even though practically anyone can be hired as a power of attorney, many people choose to hire probate attorneys to represent them. While there are several power of attorney types, one that you might be interested in is a durable power of attorney.
Differences Between Power of Attorney and Durable Power of Attorney
A power of attorney provides another individual with the ability to manage your financial, medical, or legal matters. While general powers of attorney are able to cover many different transactions, limited powers of attorney can only cover very specific situations. In the event that you become mentally incompetent, a standard power of attorney will expire. On the other hand, a durable power of attorney will remain effective even when mental incompetence occurs.
What is a General Durable Power of Attorney?
There are two types of durable powers of attorney, which include a general durable power of attorney and a medical durable power of attorney. A general durable power of attorney is able to make many business and legal decisions for the individual they are representing.
If you’re obtaining assistance from a probate attorney in Las Vegas, this type of document is known as a durable power of attorney for finances. The document can either go into effect immediately or in the event that you become incapacitated.
The individual you would like to make your decisions is consider to be your agent. While agents are usually lawyers, they can be practically anyone. You can even choose a company to act as your power of attorney.
If you happen to become incapacitated without having a general durable power of attorney, it’s possible that your family would need to go before the court to declare you incompetent before they are able to make financial decisions on your behalf, which is why you can benefit from having this type of PoA in place.
What Is a Durable Power of Attorney with Health Care?
A durable power of attorney can also be used to make medical decisions. If a serious medical issue takes away your ability to make decisions about your care, someone else would be able to make these decisions for you and communicate them to the doctor. There are differences between this type of durable power of attorney and a living will.
When you create a living will with the help of estate planning lawyers in Las Vegas, you’ll be able to detail the types of treatments you want to receive when you’re unable to communicate and have reached the end of your life.
In comparison, a healthcare power of attorney will name another individual or company to make medical decisions for you whenever you’re unable to do so. If a complete recovery is expected, a healthcare power of attorney will still make decisions.
Why You Need a Probate Attorney as Your Durable Power of Attorney
A traditional power of attorney can be as limited or comprehensive as you want it to be. For instance, you can choose to limit the types of financial decisions that your agent makes. You could also give them extensive power to handle all legal documents, financial transactions, and health care decisions on your behalf. It’s highly recommended that the agent is someone you know you can trust. A reputable probate attorney can represent you when the time comes.
The main issues with a power of attorney is that it’s only in effect while you can still make decisions for yourself. There are a few reasons why it might be a good idea to have a durable power of attorney in place instead of a traditional one. First of all, the durable PoA will be in effect even if a serious accident or illness incapacitates you temporarily. If you provided comprehensive instructions before this incident, your PoA should make decisions that you would likely agree with.
If you don’t have a durable power of attorney, you could be in a situation where no one can represent your health, financial, or business interests. Durable powers of attorney provide yourself and your loved ones with confidence about what steps will be taken when you’re unable to properly communicate.
As long as you have the mental capacity to make this decision, your durable power of attorney can be terminated or revoked whenever you want. It’s also possible to revise the document as your requirements change. If you need help creating a durable power of attorney that will accurately relay your wishes, consider hiring an estate planning attorney in Las Vegas.
Authority a Durable Power of Attorney Can Be Granted
The authority that a durable power of attorney provides to someone can be special or general. The main difference between the two documents is that a special power of attorney will specifically list the powers that the probate attorney will have. These powers might include:
• Selling or purchasing real estate
• Completing banking transactions
• Making charitable gifts
• Filing annual tax returns
• Handling all other tax matters
• Managing military benefits
• Managing personal affairs
• Completing transactions involving stocks, bonds, or securities
• Buying or selling personal property
• Managing Social Security benefits
• Managing unemployment benefits
Keep in mind that a durable power of attorney can also be used to avoid a guardianship in Las Vegas, which means that you have full control over who will make your decisions if you’re unable to.
The agreement made between a principal and their agent is considered to be fiduciary, which means that the agent is required to make decisions in good faith. However, there’s still a possibility that someone can abuse the powers they have with this document, which is why caution is advised.
Durable powers of attorney are no longer in effect once death occurs. These documents can also be limited to a specific period of time depending on your needs. Speak with a probate lawyer to determine how you should structure your durable power of attorney.
Durable Power of Attorney Requirements
A durable power of attorney document needs to be signed by the principal with a notary public present. You’ll need to be mentally competent and at least 18 years old when signing a durable power of attorney. Many states dictate that this document be filed with the register of deeds in your county if you want it to remain in effect once you become mentally incapacitated.
Your agent will then have 30 days after registration to file a copy of the document with the clerk of superior court. This individual must maintain accurate records of any transactions that take place while they are acting as your agent. These requirements, however, can be waived.