Power of Attorney
Power of Attorney Legal Help in Arizona
Power of Attorney – A critical aspect of effective lifetime planning is the “power of attorney” (POA). Most states allow POAs and have statutes that govern the content of a POA. However, the rules and requirements of a POA differ from state to state. A POA authorizes one or more persons to act on your behalf as your agent. The power you authorize your agent may be limited to a particular activity, such as purchasing real property, or it may provide the agent general powers. The POA may give only temporary power or it may provide permanent authority to handle your affairs. Some POAs are effect immediately, and some are effective only upon the occurrence of a future event, usually your mental incapacity. A POA may be revoked if you no longer require an agent.
The person you name in your POA to act on your behalf is known as your “agent”. With a valid power of attorney, you are authorizing your agent to take any action permitted in your document.
We are always asked, why should I give authority to another person to act in my behalf? The answer may simply be convenience. If you are selling your home and are not available to close the transaction, you can ask your agent to sign for you. Perhaps the most important reason to have a power of a POA is to have a plan in place for times when you may not be able to make your own decisions due to incapacity. Such a debility may be temporary, or it may be permanent.
If you do not have a POA in place and you later become unable to manage your personal or business affairs, your family and friends may have to petition a court to appoint one or more people as a guardian and/or conservative to make your health and financial decisions. If the court is required to intervene, you may not have the option to determine the person who will then act on your behalf. Most people do not want to be subject to court supervision, so being proactive with a POA is necessary to avoid this step. Your power of attorney will allow you to choose your agent and who will make your medical and financial decisions. Finally, keeping in mind that additional security against having a court ordered guardianship imposed on you may be achieved by having a revocable living trust and other important estate planning documents.