Common Misconceptions about a Power of Attorney

A POA (Power of Attorney), is a very powerful document that grants the agent in question the authority to do something, as per what is transpired and printed in the document furnished by a real estate attorney in Santa Rosa. This document defines a legally binding relationship between the principal and the agent. The principal is the one who gives medical, legal, and financial authority to his preferred person, and the agent allows him to make decisions on his behalf. A POA can be used in either cases, when the principal is legally competent, or even when they are deemed incompetent legally. This piece of paper gives people peace of mind by allowing someone they trust, the right to take care of important decisions on their behalf. However, there are a number of myths that surround this document that we attempt to debunk in this article.

Misconception 1: It is Only for the Elderly

This is a very common misconception among people. However, an accident or unexpected illness can befall upon anyone, any time and at any age. Any person over 18, who wants to ensure their wishes are followed, or that their loved ones are protected from confusion or financial hardship, should draft a POA. For a comprehensive directive that paves way for legal, medical, and financial certainty, every person over 18 must have medical, as well as a durable Power of Attorney, executed by a reliable real estate attorney in Santa Rosa.

Misconception 2: A POA Can’t Be Created Orally

Though it’s recommended that all legally binding documents, as well as contracts, are executed in writing, they must also meet the Statute of Frauds, an oral POA also carries equal weight as one that is etched in writing and will hold up in court. However, it is important to note that certain jurisdictions may differ on this. It is therefore in your best interest that you familiarize yourself with the practices of your state, and research further on which institutions will honor an oral POA, and which will not. Certain institutions such as banks and the IRS require for the POA to be in writing for it to be honored.

Misconception 3: POA can be Used Even After Death

Many people believe that a Power of Attorney holds value and can be used even after the death of a person. This is not true. Once a person passes, his or her Power of Attorney also loses all authority possessed during his life. Whether the Power of Attorney was executed for Health Care or for Finances, or both, the document simply expires upon the death of the person. Neither of the documents allows for anything to be done after death. Any such decisions will strictly lie in the hands of the personal representative as per a will drawn out.

If you would like to ensure that you maximize the resources that are available to your loved ones after your death, or need help in executing a POA, schedule an appointment with Johnston & Associates Attorneys at Law today. We do not simply draft documents, we help you make informed decisions about life as well as death, for yourself and your family.