There’s not just one kind of Power of Attorney, and you need to make sure that you choose the right kind. After all, conferring Power of Attorney means that someone will be able to act on your behalf on health decisions and financial matters, making decisions for you when you’re unable. It’s important to get the right Power of Attorney, and these tips can help you choose the kind that’s best for your individual situation.
1. If you wish to confer Power of Attorney on someone, or are applying to act with Power of Attorney on someone else’s behalf, it is important to ensure that you get the right type. There are several to choose from. Nondurable, durable and springing are three types, and all of these can be verbal or oral, witnessed or unwitnessed.
2. Nondurable power of attorney applies immediately upon being granted and is appropriate for a set amount of time or for the duration of a specified matter – such as the sale of a house – after which it ceases to apply. This is suitable when someone needs a level of help with a transaction or operation of some sort but still retains many of their faculties.
3. Durable power of attorney is more appropriate in cases which will continue either in perpetuity or for the foreseeable future. If an individual has suffered serious physical injury or mental degradation to the extent where they are unable to make decisions with confidence and consistency (most usually in cases of senility), they may confer power of attorney to a trusted member of their family or a friend.
4. Springing power of attorney is for many people the most desirable state of affairs as it comes into effect at a specific time – most usually when a doctor certifies you as incapacitated or other circumstances have become effective, thus making it unsuitable or undesirable for you to make your own decisions.
5. If you are the one on whom Power of Attorney is being conferred, it is worth ensuring that you have a witness to the conference – part of the nature of Power of Attorney is that the person who is conferring it may often become confused, irritable or unreasonable, and may switch between lucidity and confusion without notice. They may well accuse you of defrauding them.
6. For similar reasons to the above, it is worth asking yourself before you take on Power of Attorney whether you are certain you can emotionally endure what will result from being empowered in such a way. It will often require making very fundamental and seismic changes in the person’s life, and to do this will require great emotional strength, particularly if they are someone to whom you are close.
7. When acting with Power of Attorney, it is possible that you will encounter interference and displeasure from their family – which may also be your family. It is important to have the full confidence of people to whom the individual is close and with whom they retain a strong bond of trust. This will allow transparency in all stages.
8. Inform yourself as much as you can about the concept of power of attorney. Find out specifically where you stand as a result of taking on power of attorney before you enter into an agreement. Although the situation is a strain on everyone, it is you who will be required to conduct financial and organizational details, and it is therefore important that you make sure you are protected and allowed to do so.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational and entertainment purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter.
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