The law says that every person has the power to make their own decisions concerning their life. However, in certain scenarios a person may become incapacitated to the point that they are no longer able to make these choices on their own.
A Power of Attorney (POA) is a way to grant another person the ability to make decisions on your behalf. This tool is flexible in that you can grant authority over a limited or broad range of topics, such as medical or financial choices.
To have a legal effect, these documents must conform to state laws, which a knowledgeable attorney can further explain. If you are considering this estate planning option, speak to a Wake Forest Power of Attorney lawyer to ensure that all the legal requirements are met.
To create a Power of Attorney, the subject must sign the document or order another to sign on their behalf, as per North Carolina General Statutes § 32C-1-105. Additionally, the signature must be acknowledged. The simplest way to acknowledge a signature is to have a notary public observe the signing and affix a seal. A local POA lawyer can help to facilitate this process.
General Powers of Attorney are powerful documents. The holder of this document has broad powers to make decisions about every aspect of the subject’s life. These decisions may include selling or purchasing property, sending a person to live in a nursing home, or transferring control of a business.
A General Power of Attorney is usually durable, meaning that it remains in effect for an unlimited amount of time. However, the subject of a POA may end the relationship by explicitly revoking it. The relationship will also end if the person holding the Power of Attorney dies or becomes otherwise incapacitated. If you are considering a General Power of Attorney, you should speak to an experienced lawyer first, as this document grants significant authority over your life.
Another option is a Limited Power of Attorney, which empowers a person for a specific purpose or limited amount of time. For example, you may grant a Limited POA to another person to sell your home if you are in another country.
Another common use for a Limited POA is to cede control over a business in case of incapacitation. In these cases, the Power of Attorney may only take effect if an illness or injury leaves you unable to make sound decisions. Additionally, a Limited POA allows you to grant control over the company and nothing else.
In this way, Limited Powers of Attorney can function as contingency plans in case of crisis. If you wish to draft a Limited Power of Attorney that serves a specific purpose, consult a skilled lawyer at our Wake Forest office.
Many people will eventually become unable to care for their own needs or make sound decisions about their futures. When this occurs, it can be helpful to place your wellbeing into the hands of another. Through a Power of Attorney, a trusted individual can receive general powers to make decisions on your behalf or obtain limited abilities to perform specific functions.
If you are considering your plans for the future, a Wake Forest Power of Attorney lawyer can provide more information about this estate planning option and help determine if it is right for you. Call our office today to set up a strategy meeting with a member of our team.