Powers of Attorney
Grand Junction Elder Law Attorney
A Power of Attorney (POA) is a legal document that authorizes another person (an "Agent") to act for you (the "Principal") if you are unable to act for yourself. If you prefer, you can name Co-Agents in your POA, with the stipulation that a majority must agree on whatever action is contemplated. In the alternative you can designate one Co-Agent as the "tie-breaker" if no consensus is possible. You might also consider giving an Agent the power to act alone if the others are unavailable. Whenever possible, if only one Agent is named, it is preferable to name a Successor Agent in case your Agent pre-deceases you or becomes incapacitated.
If the POA allows your agent to act for you even if you become incapacitated, the POA is a "Durable Power of Attorney." However, as long as you are not incapacitated, you have the option of revoking your POA and executing a new one. Because the POA is automatically revoked at your death, your Agent no longer has the authority to act for you, and thus the POA is void.
An Agent under a POA is a fiduciary, and thus is legally obligated to always act in your best interest. Obviously, when choosing your Agents you will want to select someone you trust, who knows you and your wishes well and is willing to and capable of taking on the job if necessary.
Executing a POA is proactive choice that allows you to: (1) delegate authority to someone else to handle your personal and business affairs; (2) empower someone to make medical decisions in case of your incapacity; and (3) eliminate the need and the significant expense of having a Conservator or Guardian appointed if you become incapacitated.
Powers of Attorney
There are two primary types of Powers of Attorney that are utilized for Estate Planning purposes:
- General Power of Attorney - This document is also known as a Financial Power of Attorney. Typically it grants to the Agent broad powers to make financial and business decisions for the Principal including the sale and management of real estate or personal property. However, the Principal may opt to impose restrictions on the Agent's authority.
- Medical Power of Attorney - Also known as a Health Care Power of Attorney, this document empowers your Agent to access your medical records, discuss your care with physicians and make all healthcare decisions regarding care, hospitalization and life support. Again, the Principal may opt to impose restrictions on the Agent's authority.
Elder Law Lawyer in Grand Junction
The Law Offices of James A. Littlepage has been assisting clients in Grand Junction and the broader Western Slope community in creating Powers of Attorney since 1993. Mr. Littlepage has prepared over 2,000 estate plans and recently was recognized with a 2015 and 2016 Five Star Estate Planning Attorney℠ award. In 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011 and 2010 he received the Five Star Wealth Manager℠ award, as seen in 5280 and ColoradoBiz magazines. For assistance in preparing Powers of Attorneys, please contact our Grand Junction office.
Contact a Grand Junction elder law attorney at the firm to discuss Powers of Attorney.