In Boston, a power of attorney (POA) serves as a written document that allows you as the principal individual to authorize another person to serve as the decision-maker on your behalf. A power of attorney will outline important matters including your business and financial interests, assets and property.
Creating a POA is an important part of estate planning, and the person you select must be trustworthy. The POA goes into effect once it has been signed. The help of a Boston power of attorney lawyer could help you feel more confident in your choice and know that your estate will be secure in the future. Reach out as soon as possible to connect with a skilled member of our team.
According to state law, there are several types of POA options to consider that a Boston attorney could explain in detail. The “durable” power of attorney gives the POA Agent the authority to continue to serve as the decision-maker for the principal individual even if the person becomes mentally incapacitated and unable to make decisions about their financial and business matters.
An important decision you must make regarding a durable power of attorney is when the power should take effect. In some cases, the POA is only effective if the grantor becomes incapacitated. We call this a “springing” POA because the POA “springs” to life when incapacity is established. In some cases, the POA is effective from the moment it is signed. An adept power of attorney lawyer can advise you as to which choice is best for your personal situation.
POAs may also have the capacity to make decisions outside the scope of legal and business matters. For example, a durable healthcare POA can be useful when an individual has experienced a grave medical situation that has left them unable to make decisions regarding their care. In that arrangement, the POA has the authority to deal with doctors and medical staff and make medical decisions for the incapacitated principal. In the non-durable option, the POA’s authority ceases when the principal individual becomes incapacitated.
Other types include the general POA option and the limited POA option. In the limited POA option, the principal individual designates specific tasks for the POA. These tasks must be laid out in detail to be enforceable.
Under a general POA agreement, the POA has full general power over the principal’s financial and business affairs, and even has the authority to devise a will on the principal’s behalf. If a principal chooses a General Durable POA model, they then authorize the POA to have the full scope of authority as the decision maker in all legal and financial matters. This would continue even if the principal becomes incapacitated in the future.
A principal may revoke the POA agreement if they are mentally competent and of sound mind. If the principal can show they understood the consequences of revoking a POA at the time of revocation, they will satisfy the sound mind requirement enforced by the court. The language of the POA agreement can also include an expiration date, so that the POA loses authority automatically when the designated date is reached.
If a principal wants to amend their existing POA agreement, whether to change the appointed person, limit or broaden the scope of the POA’s authority, or change any other terms, we recommend working with a Boston attorney to create a new document rather than attempting to amend the existing one.
Selecting the right power of attorney option for your specific needs is an integral part of any sound estate plan. An experienced lawyer could help you devise a POA in sound accordance with the law. When you know your matter is in good hands, you may feel more comfortable about the process. Contact a Boston power of attorney lawyer for an initial consultation.