Spokane Power of Attorney
A general durable power of attorney is an important component of your estate plan. Designating a power of attorney before you actually need it is the very definition of estate planning – taking steps now to protect yourself, your property, and your family if you are not able to do so yourself. Learn more about powers of attorney below, including how they work and why they are so important to have, and contact Moulton Law Offices, P.S., to talk more specifically about including powers of attorney in your estate plan with our experienced Spokane power of attorney lawyers.
How Does a Power of Attorney Work?
A power of attorney is a legal document where you name another person to act on your behalf in your personal, financial or legal affairs. The person named is considered to be your agent or “attorney-in-fact,” but a person does not have to be a licensed attorney to hold a power of attorney. Quite often, a power of attorney is given to a trusted family member such as a spouse or adult child. Your power of attorney should be someone who is capable and competent and whom you trust to carry out your wishes or act in your best interests, but beyond that, they do not require any special skills to act as power of attorney. They can always consult with actual attorneys or other professionals, such as financial advisors or real estate agents, to help them make the best decisions.
A person holding a power of attorney can act on your behalf if you become incapacitated due to illness, injury, age-related memory loss, and similar reasons. Even after you create the power of attorney, you still retain the power to manage and control your own affairs. It is only if you are deemed incapable of doing so that the person holding the power of attorney can act. If you later regain capacity, you also regain the ability to take back control over your affairs.
Some of the things a person holding a power of attorney can do for you include:
- Pay your bills, utilities and mortgage payments
- Manage the upkeep of your property, including your home and rental properties, by contracting with lawn care and landscaping professionals or paying for repairs and maintenance
- Arrange for your admission to a nursing home or long-term care facility, or contract with home health aides and caregivers
- Prepare and file your tax returns or hire a professional tax preparer to do your taxes
- Sell your assets as needed
- Make decisions regarding your investments to manage them properly
- Act as your agent in dealing with your bank, insurance companies, Medicare and Medicaid, assisted living facilities, or other institutions that otherwise wouldn’t have the authority to speak with another person acting on your behalf
You decide what powers you want your attorney-in-fact to be able to exercise, and you can place limits on their authority as well. Of course, you’ll choose someone you trust to use your power of attorney, but you can still take steps in the document itself to protect you from potential abuse.
Professional Help Crafting a General Durable Power of Attorney
Having a power of attorney might keep your loved ones from having to go through the time, expense and public court proceeding of establishing a guardianship to manage your affairs if you become incapacitated. Acting now ensures you have an effective power of attorney in place that does what you want it to and is exercised by the person you choose.
Some institutions such as banks can be very particular about interacting with others on your behalf, even when presented with a power of attorney. It’s important to have your power of attorney professionally prepared by an experienced estate planning lawyer to help ensure the power of attorney will be readily accepted by others or stand up in court if challenged.
Contact Moulton Law Offices for Help With Powers of Attorney in Spokane
The elder law and estate planning attorneys of Moulton Law Offices can help you create a general durable power of attorney that protects you and your property and gives you peace of mind should you ever become incapacitated even for a short time. Call our experienced Spokane power of attorney lawyers to craft the powers of attorney and other legal documents that best meet your unique needs.