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Power of Attorney Lawyers in White Plains

Helping You Protect Your Financial and Medical Decisions

If you are preparing your estate plan, you may have heard about creating a power of attorney document. This document allows you to give a trusted loved one the authority to make decisions on your behalf. You can choose to let them make financial decisions, health care decisions, property management decisions, or all of the above.

Creating a power of attorney is a big decision and not one that should be taken lightly. Before creating a power of attorney form, consulting with an experienced team of estate planning attorneys is essential. At the Law Offices of Patricia G. Micek PLLC, we can advise you on which power of attorney to create, plus help you submit the correct forms without mistakes.

Our team understands just how essential these decisions can be, and we are dedicated to providing the most accurate, up-to-date legal advice that we can. For more information about our services and how we can help you, call our law office today at 914-533-1756.

What is a Power of Attorney (POA)?

A power of attorney, also called an attorney in fact, describes the legal capacity to make decisions on someone else’s behalf. The power of attorney document gives a person the authority to act on behalf of the principal, or the person who assigns power of attorney. The agent can be given broad authority to make decisions about finances, medical care, and investments, or they could be given limited power of attorney to make decisions about specific aspects. Without a power of attorney, no one else is allowed to make these decisions for you — not even your spouse.

There are two main types of powers of attorney to choose from: medical power of attorney and financial power of attorney. Our team can help you decide which power of attorney to choose under which circumstances. We can also help you pick the right agent to be assigned power of attorney. Contact our office today if you have any questions.

How Does a Power of Attorney Work?

Power of attorney authority typically kicks in after certain events have happened. In most cases, an agent can use their power of attorney authority after the principal has become incapacitated because of an illness or injury. Both parties must agree to the power of attorney arrangement and sign a legal document created by a lawyer.

Most power of attorney documents authorize the agent to represent the principal if they cannot make decisions for themselves. If the principal regains the ability to make their own decisions or they pass away, the power of attorney is automatically revoked. Similarly, the principal can revoke a power of attorney document at any time with help from our team.
If a court invalidates the power of attorney document or the agent can no longer carry out their duties, then the power of attorney is no longer valid. If you assign power of attorney to your spouse and get a divorce, the authorization may automatically become invalid. Power of attorney agents are required to make sound decisions as if they were the principal, acting without undue influence from others.

What Types of Power of Attorney Are There?

There are two main kinds of power of attorney. One of them is for healthcare decisions, while the other is for financial decisions.
Below are the differences between the types of power of attorney:

Healthcare Power of Attorney (HCPOA)

A POA for healthcare allows the agent to make healthcare-related decisions on your behalf. This document is similar to a healthcare proxy, and it will enable a loved one to consent to or deny medical treatments if you are unable to do so. In most cases, healthcare POAs are used after an accident that leads to injury or a critical illness that leads to incapacitation. Many older adults like having a healthcare POA, because it ensures them that their medical wishes will be respected and advocated for.

Financial Power of Attorney

A financial POA allows an agent to make financial decisions on your behalf. This can include selling real estate, signing checks, managing investments and brokerage accounts, completing business operating transactions, managing a bank account, and more. The agent is obligated to make financial decisions with the principal’s best interest in mind, using their skills and experience as they do so.

Financial powers of attorney are further divided into different categories. Below are the different ways you can set up a financial POA:

  • General power of attorney: Allows the agent to act on your behalf in all matters, including signing checks, managing assets, and filing taxes.
  • Limited power of attorney: Allows the agent to act on your behalf in specific matters or after certain events. For instance, you could only allow your agent to manage your retirement accounts, not other bank accounts or investments.
  • Durable power of attorney: A durable POA allows the agent to remain in control of the matters in the agreement even after you are mentally incapacitated. The agent can pay medical bills on behalf of the principal, but they cannot make medical-related decisions.

Should I Consult With a Power of Attorney Lawyer?

Granting a power of attorney to your spouse, parent, grandparent, or sibling helps protect your assets and your health in the event you become incapacitated. By working with our team of estate planning attorneys, you can create a power of attorney document with as many stipulations and caveats as you need to feel protected.

Our team at the Law Offices of Patricia G. Micek PLLC, has decades of experience in the estate planning industry, and we are confident we can help you create a power of attorney that’s right for you. For more information about our services and to speak to an experienced member of our team, contact our law office at 914-533-1756.