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Law Lingo: Power of Attorney

Welcome to Law Lingo: a monthly blog series brought to you by The Brown Law Firm, LLC that explains estate planning terminologies in simple terms. This month we will explain a power of attorney.

A power of attorney (POA) is a legal document which appoints another person or organization (known as the agent) to act on your behalf. POAs can be completed for your medical or financial decisions: carrying out your wishes or making decisions for you.

Special/Limited Power of Attorney: appointed to handle specific tasks that you cannot handle. Their powers will be more limited and will need to be spelled out specifically. This designation can be set to end at a certain time or terminate after an event has taken place.

Financial Power of Attorney: such as business transactions, filing tax returns, buying life insurance, making banking transactions, gifting money or assets to others, processing payments from Social Security etc.  You can make this designation durable so the agent can continue the duties if you become incapacitated.

Health Care Power of Attorney: responsible for making medical decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated. This can include making end-of-life decisions for you or carrying out your predetermined wishes in these types of situations.

Contingent/Springing Power of Attorney: you can set this designation to become active at the time you become incapacitated.

The power imparted to these individuals should not be underestimated. It is extremely important that you designate the right person(s) for these responsibilities – ones that you trust implicitly to act in your best interests and carry out your wishes. A Colorado estate planning attorney can help guide you in the right direction, help you think through your POA options, craft your legal documents and ensure they are legally binding.

Still confused by power of attorney or any other legal terms? Want to go through the proper channels to create powers of attorney for yourself? The Denver estate planning lawyers at The Brown Law Firm, LLC are here to help. Even if you just want to ask questions about power of attorney in Colorado, contact us at (303) 339-3750 or send us a message online to meet with our experts.