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Many people believe that an estate plan only affects what happens after you have passed. However, establishing a power of attorney to provide for your care during your lifetime is also an important part of the process. A power of attorney is a useful tool that ensures your wishes are carried out in cases where you are physically or mentally incapacitated.
This protection can give you significant peace of mind, but the process of establishing a power of attorney is complex. If you are considering your plans for the future, it is recommended that you contact a dedicated estate planning attorney. An experienced Raleigh power of attorney lawyer could assist you in every aspect of this important process.
In Raleigh, a power of attorney is any written record that provides authority to an agent to act on behalf of a principal. Under state law, there are no formal requirements that the document itself even uses the term “power of attorney.”
There are several types of powers of attorney. Some of these documents are broad and provide for virtually every aspect of a principal’s life. Others are narrow, only lasting a limited time or serving a specific role. An attorney could advise a Raleigh resident on the right type of power of attorney for their situation.
General powers of attorney provide the broadest, most sweeping control to the designated agent. A general power of attorney lets the agent, known as the attorney-in-fact, make virtually every personal or financial decision on behalf of the principal when they are no longer able to make those decisions on their own.
A temporary power of attorney might have the same broad powers as a general power of attorney, but it is limited in duration. Typically, this power of attorney sets specific triggers that determine when it begins and ends.
A special power of attorney is not as broad as a general power of attorney. Its scope is ultimately up to the principal to determine. For example, it could be limited to only financial decisions or only medical decisions. To establish a special power of attorney, a diligent attorney could provide assistance in determining the right parameters for the Raleigh resident in question.
The specific rights held under powers of attorney vary depending on the type. The broader the language of the document, the more individual rights the attorney-in-fact will hold. When the attorney-in-fact has broad control of the principal’s finances, they can generally take any steps necessary to maintain the principal’s financial stability. This could include signing paychecks, filing tax returns, or paying insurance premiums. It could also include selling assets like vehicles or even real estate.
A power of attorney can also have medical directives that allow the attorney-in-fact to make important healthcare decisions. This could include selecting potential treatments or determining what parties may access the principal’s medical records. Those determining these vital issues should seek the counsel of a Raleigh attorney well-experienced in powers of attorney.
When it comes to your future, a power of attorney could provide you with the peace of mind you need. By establishing this document, you could ensure that your wishes will be respected even when you are no longer able to make life decisions on your own. Call a Raleigh power of attorney lawyer to set up an initial consultation. Our legal team is ready to discuss your estate planning goals and work with you to accomplish them.