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Covington Power of Attorney Lawyers

Covington Power of Attorney Lawyers

When you give another person the power to act on your behalf, this is a Power of Attorney (POA). Powers of Attorney are most common among elderly Americans who want to choose a trusted individual to act on their behalf should they be unable to act on their own. Powers of Attorney are popular as a relatively simple, inexpensive way to handle potential incapacitation. When a Power of Attorney is used in this particular manner, it is generally considered to be “durable,” meaning it remains in effect even when the person that created it becomes incapacitated. There are other ways Powers of Attorney can be used for shorter-term purposes. Unfortunately, there is a certain level of abuse related to Powers of Attorney as it bestows a significant level of authority over your health/finances/business interests without regular oversight. Powers of Attorney can be forged, or an agent might pressure someone to grant them a POA when they are not on board with that. The agent might also spend money on things for himself or herself, rather than for the individual’s benefit or do things he or she was not authorized to do. Thankfully, POA abuse can be largely prevented by always ensuring your Power of Attorney is prepared by  Covington Power of Attorney lawyers. Other ways to protect a POA includes:

  • Only appoint an agent you absolutely trust.
  • Always ensure your agent is clear about your wishes and preferences.
  • Regarding financial POAs, require that your agent regularly report to another person regarding transactions made on your behalf.
  • Make sure other loved ones are aware of your POA so they can ensure your best interests are being served.
  • Beware of someone who pressures you to implement a POA with that person as agent, and
  • Always remember that you can change a POA designation should you decide the person you chose as agent might not be the best person for the job.

Adams Law has been helping individuals with Powers of Attorney for many, many years. Our Covington office primarily serves Northern Kentucky and Southern Ohio but has helped individuals across the Commonwealth of Kentucky. We are a strongly client-centered firm, believing our clients are the most important part of the equation. We will always strive to ensure all your questions are fully answered and that you are able to contact our Covington Power of Attorney lawyers when necessary. All your Powers of Attorney and other estate planning needs can be met when you call Adams Law.

What Does a Power of Attorney Accomplish?

A Durable Power of Attorney can conceivably be the most important estate plan document you have, allowing another person to act on your behalf in the event of your incapacitation or absence. A Power of Attorney can also avoid the need for a court-appointed guardianship or conservatorship.  As the person creating the Power of Attorney, you are known as the “Principal,” while the person you name to act on your behalf is called the “Attorney-in-Fact.”

For a Power of Attorney to remain in effect upon your incapacitation, it must be “durable.” A Power of Attorney document can also be “springing” or “non-springing.” The non-springing type goes into effect immediately, while a springing POA gives no authority to the attorney-in-fact to act until a certain event takes place. A springing POA usually includes wording such as “my attorney-in-fact has no authority to act unless I am incapacitated…” Similarly, if you travel to foreign countries often, you might have a POA that gives your attorney-in-fact to specifically sign real estate documents on your behalf only when you are out of the country.

You can have more than one attorney-in-fact on your POA. As an example, you could name your two adult children to be co-attorneys-in-fact, allowing them to divide the responsibilities, assisting one another as well as you. Of course, you would not name two people who cannot stand to be in the same room together—therefore, could not work together on your behalf—to be co-attorneys-in-fact.

If you want your attorney-in-fact to be able to make gifts of your assets on your behalf, this must be stated in the POA document. Many courts have determined gifts made by an attorney-in-fact were void simply because the document did not clearly state that right. Finally, a Power of Attorney document becomes void when the principal dies, meaning it is in effect only during the lifetime of the principal.

What are the Different Types of Powers of Attorney?

An attorney-in-fact is expected to place the interests of the principal ahead of his or her own and maybe designated to make financial decisions, only specific financial decisions, to make monetary gifts, to make healthcare decisions, to recommend a guardian, and more. The four most common types of Powers of Attorney include:

  • A General Power of Attorney allows the attorney-in-fact to perform almost any act the principal chooses whether financial or otherwise.
  • A Durable Power of Attorney includes a clause that maintains the Power of Attorney after the principal becomes incapacitated.
  • A Special or Limited Power of Attorney grants specific powers to the attorney-in-fact in a certain area, such as selling a home or other piece of real estate.
  • A Springing Durable Power of Attorney becomes effective when a specified event takes place—such as when the principal becomes incapacitated.

As noted above, trust is a key factor when choosing an attorney-in-fact. Whether you choose an attorney, an organization, a relative, a spouse, or a friend, you need to be certain that person will always make decisions based on your best interests, will respect your wishes, and will never abuse the powers granted. Attorneys-in-fact are held responsible only for intentional misconduct, not for unknowingly making a mistake.   

How Can Adams Law Help with POAs? Contact Our Covington Power of Attorney Lawyers

The Covington Power of Attorney lawyers at Adams Law can help you choose the Power of Attorney that will work for you and your unique situation. We will explain the various types of POAs to you and answer all your questions related to POAs and estate planning in general. Contact Adams Law today!

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