A Beginner’s Guide to Understanding the Power of Attorney

A Man signing an estate planning document

A power of attorney is a very useful tool to help those unable to make decisions for themselves. If you understand the basics of power of attorney and how it works, you will be able to provide better support and care for your loved ones, especially in these unpredictable times.

 

 

What Is a Power of Attorney?

A power of attorney is a legal document that grants one person (the “agent”) the ability to act on behalf of another person (the “principal”). A POA can be used in many situations, such as when a person is ill or has died and must deal with legal issues that need immediate attention. It can be used for personal or business use. It’s generally considered good practice to name an agent who will take over if you become incapacitated and unable to handle your affairs. The broad categories of power of attorneys are given below.

General Power of Attorney

A general power of attorney is a legal document granting someone broad authority to act on your behalf. This action can include: making healthcare and financial decisions, signing contracts, managing assets, and more.

Special Power of Attorney

A special power of attorney (SPA) narrows the authority of the agent. For example, medical decisions can be made by the wife or parents, while a business partner can make business decisions. Assigning a medical power of attorney is becoming increasingly common due to Covid-19.

Its Benefits

Having a power of attorney can be an important document for future planning. They also offer convenience. For example, if you are about to close a real estate transaction and choose not to appear in person, you can take advantage of a power of attorney.

Woman in a hospital bed in a semi-conscious state

Trusted Estate Lawyers in New York

When a power of attorney document is drafted correctly, it can provide a clear explanation of what type of authority an agent has been given. It can also include limitations that prevent an agent from carrying out. This is why you need an experienced family lawyer to help you draft a power of attorney with your interests in mind.

At Ledwidge & Associates, P.C., our track record of satisfied clients speaks for itself.

We offer all kinds of litigations services throughout NYC, including estate planning. If you are looking for a trusted estate, trust, or probate attorney in Queens, Brooklyn, The Bronx, Jamaica, Manhattan, or Long Island, NY, then please contact us now.

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