Power of Attorney FAQ
Important Answers & Info about Powers of Attorney
Powers of attorney are important elements of an estate plan that can provide you and your loved ones with some important protections later in the event of a serious accident, illness or incapacitation. To clarify the importance of powers of attorney, below, we will answer some commonly asked questions about this role.
Q – Why should I develop a power of attorney?
A – Essentially, you should develop powers of attorney – both medical and financial powers of attorney – because you never know what tomorrow will bring and because you want to make sure that your important medical and financial decisions will be made by someone you trust.
Powers of attorney typically come into play when certain events occur and/or when people do not have the capacity to make medical and/or financial decisions for themselves. They are effectively a safety net or contingency plan that can provide you with important protections if you should become incapacitated in the future for any reason.
Q – Who should I designate as my agent or attorney -in-fact?
A – Your agent or attorney-in-fact will be the person you have named to hold the power of attorney for you. Consequently, you should choose someone whom you completely trust to handle certain medical and/or financial decisions on your behalf.
More specifically, however, the best choices will depend on the specific powers you want the agent to have. For instance, if you are setting up a financial power of attorney for your business interests, you may want to select a business partner, spouse, or even a lawyer or other professional as your agent. For medical powers of attorney, however, a spouse or adult child may be a better choice.
Q – What happens if I don’t set up powers of attorney?
A – If you don’t have powers of attorney and something happens to you, rendering you incapacitated, it will usually be up to the court to appoint someone as your agent. This can end up meaning that someone you would not have selected ends up making decisions on your behalf.
Q – Can I change powers of attorney once they are in place?
A – Yes, as long as you are of sound mind and are capable of communicating your wishes, you can change your powers of attorney or any aspect of your estate plan. In fact, you should change both of these documents when your life circumstances and/or future wishes may change.
Contact a San Fernando & Santa Clarita Estate Planning Lawyer to Establish Power of Attorney in California
For experienced help devising powers of attorney and estate plans, contact a trusted Santa Clarita estate planning attorney at the Law Offices of Darrell C. Harriman. For more than 38 years, our attorneys have been dedicated to providing people with personalized, highly responsive service, as well as superior representation, for their estate planning and probate needs.
To discuss your needs and find out more about how we can help you, contact our firm by calling (818) 462-8355 or by filling out the contact form on this page.
From our offices based in North Hills, we provide the highest quality legal services to our clients throughout the San Fernando Valley, Simi Valley, Santa Clarita and the greater Los Angeles area.