Powers of Attorney Lawyer in Los Alamitos, California
When drafting your estate plan, it is often sensible to make provisions for proxy decision-makers regarding important matters. Power of attorney (POA) is a powerful estate planning tool that allows you to authorize someone else to act on your behalf in certain financial, legal, health, tax, and property matters – when you're unavailable or unable to make sure decisions.
If you're thinking about estate planning or need assistance when drafting your power of attorney document, you need to consult with an experienced California estate planning attorney for proper guidance. At the Law Offices of Lawrence H. Nemirow PC, I'm committed to offering well-informed legal counsel and advocacy to clients in estate planning and POA-related matters.
As your legal counsel, I can enlighten you about the benefits of having a POA document in your estate plan and explore your various options. Also, I will walk you through the legal process involved in establishing your powers of attorney, help you choose a trusted attorney-in-fact, and help you make informed decisions.
My firm – the Law Offices of Lawrence H. Nemirow PC – is proud to serve clients across Los Alamitos, California, and surrounding areas throughout Los Angeles County, Orange County, Long Beach, Newport Beach, Huntington Beach, Cerritos, Santa Ana, and Anaheim.
What Is a Power of Attorney?
A power of attorney (POA) is a written document that allows you (the principal) to appoint or authorize another person or entity to act on your behalf in certain financial, property, tax, or legal matters – should you become unable or unavailable to do so. In California, the person who the principal chooses to act on their behalf is referred to as the "agent" or "attorney-in-fact."
Why Are They Important?
As mentioned earlier, the power of attorney document is a crucial part of a comprehensive estate plan. Here are some benefits of having a POA:
It allows you to choose a dependable and trustworthy person to help manage your medical, property, and financial affairs.
It allows you to discuss your true wishes and desires with loved ones.
It allows you to maintain privacy regarding your affairs and decision-making.
It eliminates the need for a court-appointed legal guardian or conservator.
It helps to prevent or eliminate unnecessary delays when making decisions or carrying out urgent tasks.
It eliminates possible questions or doubts about your true intentions.
It permits your attorney-in-fact to reach out to other agencies for relevant information about you or to provide essential services to you.
It helps you achieve peace of mind and self-assurance.
An experienced lawyer can educate you about the various types of POA and determine the right one that best suits your unique needs.
Types of Power of Attorney in California
Additionally, there are five different types of powers of attorney that are recognized under California laws. They include:
Durable Power of Attorney
Under California law, a durable power of attorney is a power of attorney by which a principal designates another person as attorney-in-fact in writing. The POA document shall contain any of the following statements:
"This power of attorney shall become effective upon the incapacity of the principal."
"This power of attorney shall not be affected by subsequent incapacity of the principal."
General Power of Attorney
A general power of attorney is a POA that gives the agent the legal authority and power to act on behalf of the principal behalf in different matters. The agent can perform any of the following duties on the principal’s behalf:
Handle business transactions
Enter into contracts
Manage personal finances
Open financial accounts
Sell and purchase real estate property.
Help settle claims
Health Care Power of Attorney
A health care power of attorney – also known as advanced care directives – allows the agent to make medical decisions for the principal when they're unconscious, mentally incompetent, critically ill, or otherwise unable to do so. The attorney-in-fact will make decisions about medical treatments, surgical procedures, choice of hospital, organ or body donation, and other vital healthcare decisions.
Special Power of Attorney
A special or limited power of attorney is a POA that allows the principal to indicate specific matters that you want the attorney-in-fact to act on your behalf. For instance, a special POA allows the agent to manage real estate, sell a property, or collect debts when you're unavailable. Once the specific task has been performed, the special POA document will be terminated.
Springing Durable Power of Attorney
A springing durable power of attorney is a POA that will only become active when certain events or contingencies occur. As such, the agent will only be able to act on the principal's behalf after the specified event has ensued.
Considerations When Choosing a Power of Attorney
However, when choosing your agent or attorney-in-fact, here are some important things to consider:
Choose a person who knows your intentions.
Consider your relationship with the person
Consider the person's willingness to serve
Consider conflict of interests
Choose someone who is trustworthy and reliable
Consider proximity to your location
Choose a person who will prioritize your exact wishes and best interests.
Choose someone who can make swift and intelligent decisions when under strenuous situations.
An experienced California power of attorney lawyer can assess your unique needs and work diligently with you to choose a dependable agent who has your best interests.
How Legal Counsel Can Help
Getting your affairs in order can never be overstated. In the event of sudden incapacitation, severe illness, or if you're unavailable to make your decisions, you can have the reassurance and confidence that a competent and dependable person will help make such vital decisions about your health, finances, property, and legal matters. A trusted estate planning attorney can evaluate your personal needs and help you navigate crucial decisions.
Powers of Attorney Lawyer Serving Los Alamitos, California
If you need detailed guidance with powers of attorney, contact me at the Law Offices of Lawrence H. Nemirow PC today to schedule a simple consultation. I can offer you the personalized guidance and skilled advocacy you need in your estate planning. My firm is proud to serve clients across Los Alamitos, Los Angeles County, Orange County, Long Beach, Newport Beach, Huntington Beach, and Santa Ana, California.