No one knows exactly what could happen to them in the future. If you suddenly become incapacitated after being involved in an accident, you will no longer be able to make important decisions on your own. In this situation, you would need someone to make medical and financial decisions on your behalf. A power of attorney (POA) allows you to appoint someone you trust to take care of your finances and medical decisions should you become incapacitated.
At The Law Offices of Bruce Peotter, we assist residents of Highlands Ranch and Englewood, Colorado, as well as Tustin, California, with their estate planning needs. We can help you set up a legally binding and comprehensive estate plan, which may include a power of attorney, to protect you, your assets, your family, and your finances.
A power of attorney is a legal document that allows a person, which is legally referred to as the principal, to appoint another person (the agent) to have authority to make certain decisions on behalf of the principal in the event of their incapacity.
Depending on the type and terms of the legal document, a POA can give the agent unlimited or limited authority to make certain decisions about the principal’s assets, finances, or healthcare. In Colorado, POAs are governed by the Uniform Power of Attorney Act.
There are several types of powers of attorney to choose from. Each type of POA serves a different purpose.
General (financial) POA. This legal document authorizes your agent to handle your financial affairs on your behalf in the event of your incapacity. You may authorize the appointed person to make all decisions related to your finances or only specific types of affairs.
Durable POA. This type of power of attorney authorizes your agent to handle certain matters on your behalf. The word “durable” means that the document remains in effect until the principal dies or until the document is revoked.
Limited POA. A limited power of attorney designates an appointed agent to perform only very specific functions on your behalf.
Medical POA. As the name implies, a medical power of attorney allows the principal to appoint a person to carry out their wishes related to healthcare and make medical decisions on their behalf.
Regardless of which type of power of attorney you choose for your particular needs and goals, it is critical to think carefully before authorizing your family member or friend to make decisions on your behalf. You need to make sure that the person you want to appoint in the legal document is prepared to assume the big responsibility that comes with acting as an agent under a power of attorney.
It may be wise to also name a successor agent who would make decisions on your behalf if the first agent you appoint in a power of attorney dies or becomes incapacitated. When choosing a power of attorney, make sure that the person you select as your agent would make decisions that align with your wishes and best interests.
If you are considering getting a power of attorney to protect your best interests, finances, assets, and health, contact The Law Offices of Bruce Peotter. We have decades of experience helping residents of Colorado and California with their estate planning needs. We can assist you in creating a valid power of attorney. We serve clients in Colorado, including Englewood and communities in and around Denver, as well as California, including Irvine, Costa Mesa, Santa Ana, and throughout Orange County.