Typically, the only person who has the right to make decisions about finances, where they live, and the distribution of their property is the individual themselves. However, just as a person usually retains the sole power to make these decisions, they may also voluntarily grant these powers to another, by granting this person power of attorney. Not every situation is the same, and even people holding general powers of attorney will find that their authority is limited under the law.
A Tustin power of attorney lawyer could help if you are looking to give another person the authority to make decisions concerning your life and finances. Our seasoned trusts and estates attorneys could explain the concept of a power of attorney, determine your goals for going through this process, and draft the proper documents that have the intended legal effect.
How Does a Person Create a Power of Attorney?
A power of attorney grants another person the authority to make decisions on behalf of the principal, or the person who is grating these powers. State law determines the extent of these powers. California Probate Code § 4450 provides a standard list of the authorities that a standard power of attorney confers on another. These include:
- Obtaining money
- Entering contracts
- Executing deeds, mortgages, or other legal documents
- Seeking legal aid
- Filing taxes or other documents required by law
Granting another person power of attorney means that these parties may act as they see fit. Still, it is vital to remember that the recipient of this authority must still be sure to act in the best interests of the principal. A Tustin lawyer could provide more information about how powers of attorney function in a specific case.
Helping Individuals to Draft Powers of Attorney that Fit Specific Needs
Not every power of attorney is the same. Principals have significant flexibility when deciding the exact powers that they wish to confer onto other people and for how long. One of the most common forms is the durable power of attorney. This grants the holder all the powers listed in state law for an unlimited length of time. By default, a power of attorney only expires upon the principal’s death. The only exception to this rule concerns making decisions concerning a principal’s medical care.
However, it is possible to create a limited power of attorney. These documents empower the holder to only perform specific tasks. For example, a person may allow another person to purchase a car on their behalf. The other limiting factor on powers of attorney is time. Parties may wish to grant authority to make decisions on their behalf for a set period of time or if a specific situation arises. Some examples may include becoming disabled or upon reaching a specified age. A Tustin lawyer could draft documents that meet every person’s specific needs when it comes to powers of attorney.
Contact a Tustin Lawyer to Discuss Powers of Attorney
Powers of attorney are potent tools that can grant significant authority to other people. You should only choose this option if you trust the other party and have specific needs in mind. By default, holders of powers of attorney have the ability to make decisions on your behalf. Giving another person is authority is a serious decision that should not be made without consulting a legal advocate. As such, reach out to a Tustin power of attorney lawyer today to learn more about how these documents function and to discuss whether they are right for you.