Atlanta Power of Attorney Legal Services
Helping Clients Understand & Protect Their Rights
Power of attorney documents are designed to bring peace of mind to individuals who are beginning to consider what will happen to them if they are no longer able to care for themselves. If you become incapacitated through illness, injury, or aging, you can appoint another person to handle your finances through a financial power of attorney. The power of attorney you appoint can act on your behalf financially. This is helpful even during a temporary incapacity when you cannot sign a check and someone needs to pay the monthly bills, for example.
A power of attorney in Georgia is one of the most powerful and useful estate planning devices because the only alternative to the power of attorney is a conservatorship, which costs the client much more time and expense than a power of attorney. Our Atlanta estate planning attorneys and other legal associates can help you prepare a power of attorney that covers all of your needs.
What Does It Mean to Have Power of Attorney?
A power of attorney (POA) is a type of document that grants the ability to appoint another individual, or an organization, the power to manage your personal affairs should you be rendered unable to do so yourself.
Generally speaking, power of attorney grants broad powers for another to act on your behalf. This can include a wide range of matters, including:
- Managing personal business interests
- Taking care of financial and legal issues and decisions
- Employing professional help, such as a full-time caretaker should you become physically or mentally impaired
- Purchasing life insurance policies
- Settling existing legal claims
Power of Attorney is a particularly useful tool for those who are aging or ill, but it’s also an efficient measure to manage personal matters should you be out of the country for an advanced period of time. POA is most often tied to an estate plan once it’s generated, typically to ensure that somebody or an organization is managing financial matters in pivotal times.
Types of Power of Attorney
Depending on your needs, there are several POA options available for you to choose from. These will differ in terms of powers granted to individuals, both in type and scope. They’re designed to fit your expected life situation, whether you’re anticipating medical procedures, exiting the country for a period of time, or have extensive business measures to handle. Most commonly, you’ll find a distinction made between standard versus springing Power of Attorney, which pertain to the activation and expiration of POA rights.
Some of the more prominent POA options include the following:
Medical Power of Attorney: The durable power of attorney for health care is the medical power of attorney that grants power to a trusted person to make health care decisions on another person’s behalf. The selected agent will work with doctors and health care providers to ensure that the person who created the document receives the type of care that he or she desires.
Financial Power of Attorney: With financial power of attorney, you can prepare a “durable power of attorney for finances,” which is a document that allows a family member or friend to exercise full authority to handle financial matters. The individual who is appointed is often referred to as the agent or attorney-in-fact.
Durable Power of Attorney for Finances: Durable powers of attorney are documents that allow the individual to select a primary and alternate attorney-in-fact who can conduct business transactions and operations on their behalf. This power would go into effect if the creator of the power of attorney became incapacitated.
Does Power of Attorney Expire?
As stated, POA is often distinguished between standard and springing types. A standard POA grants agency to act on behalf of the principal as it pertains to day-to-day legal and financial issues. This standard form expires upon death of the principal, when they become incapacitated or, in writing, revoke the right to POA.
On the flip side, a springing POA does not begin until the principal of the POA becomes incapacitated in some manner. This is typically leaned on when the principal of the POA anticipates that some type of illness will prevent them from acting in their own best interests. The expiration of this type of POA does not occur until the principal can demonstrate that they have regained their ability to make decisions for themselves, at which time they can revoke it. Otherwise, the POA expires upon the principal’s death.
Can I Void or Terminate a POA Document?
Generally speaking, as long as you remain mentally competent and can demonstrate a capacity for proper decision-making, you can cancel a general POA at any time. These documents are not typically filed with a court, but it’s still a good idea to reach out to your legal representation for a format to write a POA revocation notice.
In the notice, be sure to identify yourself and state specifically that you are revoking your POA and the powers you have issued, and always include dates. Your legal representative will then inform you of the next steps, which usually involves having two witnesses and a notary public file the form with identification. Your attorney will then begin the process of notifying the person you granted POA.
It’s also recommended that you notify, with copies of the document, your various financial institutions and health care providers through certified mail. Through these means, you can guarantee that the POA will be voided and that you’re legally protected across the board.
If you need more information on revoking your POA, please reach out to our firm today to talk about the next steps towards revocation.
We Are Here to Answer Your Questions
Do you need further assistance or would like help creating a power of attorney in Georgia? If so, call Meyring Law Firm today to get help from our seasoned attorneys in Atlanta. We have the experience you need to protect your rights and are ready to provide compassionate guidance throughout the process.