Durable Power of Attorney
A Power of Attorney gives another individual the right to “act as if they were you” as your agent or attorney in fact. This legal document allows you to appoint someone to take care of your personal business should you not be able to do this yourself.
The person creating the power (the principal) specifies in the legal document the specific authority he or she wants the other person, (the agent or attorney-in-fact), to possess. The agent (the person acting on behalf of the principal) will only have those powers specifically granted to him or her by the principal. You can authorize your agent to complete a broad range of activities.
Durable Power of Attorney
While a Durable Power of Attorney functions almost the same as a Power of Attorney, there is one major difference…it remains in effect should you become incapacitated. As the principal in a Power of Attorney, you must be able to direct the acts of your agent. If you become incapacitated and cannot provide this direction, the Power of Attorney is no longer valid. The Durable Power of Attorney allows the agent to continue to act on your behalf even after you have become incapacitated….at a time when you most need someone managing your affairs.
A Durable Power of Attorney document must contain specific language that states the power is durable and will not terminate when the principal becomes incapacitated. The law requires this document to be even more specific in the powers that are being authorized to the agent, but prohibits the agent from making or revoking a will or a living will for the principal.
Other Forms of Power of Attorney
In the foregoing examples, a Power of Attorney, or a Durable Power of Attorney, allows the person to appoint someone they trust to look out for their best interests or to take proper care of their child in their absence. We handle these documents to help our Clients regain control over their lives. The costs are minimal, especially considering the amount of peace and control that it brings back to their lives.
Sometimes when you least expect it, you might need a trusted friend or family member to be able to step into your shoes to pay your bills, deposit your checks, and handle your financial affairs when you are incapacitated.
Consider this document as an insurance policy, just in case something should happen to you unexpectedly, to allow someone that you know and trust to be able to speak for you when you can’t.
When you need to temporarily delegate some authority over your child to a friend or family member, a Power of Attorney for Care and Custody of your child may be the answer to your dilemma.
Contact an attorney at the Zolman Law Firm in St. Louis today for a free consultation to discuss the options that are available to you.