Although most people assume estate planning is only used to figure out where their property will go after they pass away, it, in fact, can be used for a variety of purposes. For instance, a power of attorney can also be part of an estate plan to protect individuals and their affairs if something should happen to them and they become incapacitated. However, to learn more about creating a power of attorney, contact an experienced Northern Virginia estate planning attorney at Ardent Guardian to get your questions answered.
What Exactly Is a Power of Attorney
A power of attorney or POA refers to a document that allows one individual to act on another person’s behalf. The individual authorized to act on the principal’s behalf is the agent, while the person giving the power of attorney is known as the principal.
Different Power of Attorney Options
It is important to understand that there are numerous types of power of attorney, and knowing about each can help you choose the one that is a good fit for your wants and needs. Below, we will review some of the more common varieties:
Durable Power of Attorney
A durable power of attorney allows an individual to step in and take care of your affairs when you become mentally incapacitated. This document is critical because, under the state’s laws, a power of attorney would automatically terminate if it does not have language in it that intends for a power of attorney to remain in effect upon a disability.
General Power of Attorney
A general power of attorney grants the agent with significant authority to act on behalf of the principal. This includes the power to perform almost any task. However, it is important to note that the power to make medical decisions may not be included in the general power of attorney. Instead, it is usually granted separately through a healthcare power of attorney or an advanced medical directive. In addition, the agent cannot create a Will on behalf of the other individual.
Limited Power of Attorney
This type of power of attorney only gives the agent the authority to do specific tasks that are laid out in the document.
Springing Power of Attorney
While a power of attorney is generally effective as soon as it is signed, this requirement may change if it contains language stating that the power of attorney will not go into effect until a specified time in the future. This type of power of attorney with this language is known as a springing power of attorney.
Contact a Northern Virginia Estate Planning Attorney To Learn More About Your Estate Planning Options
At Ardent Guardian, our legal team has significant experience handling complicated estate and trust issues, including tax accounts, trustee services, court accountings, and administration. That is why if you are looking to create a power of attorney in Northern Virginia or want more information about estate planning, contact Ardent Guardian today and find out how our firm can help you.