The law presumes that a person retains control over the decisions that affect their life. Seizing this power from an individual usually requires a court order finding that a person lacks the ability to care for their own wellbeing.
However, there may be situations in which you choose to voluntarily cede this power. By creating a document known as a power of attorney (POA), you can grant another person the exclusive power to make decisions concerning your finances and property.
However, if you are considering this option, it is crucial to first discuss the legal impact with a skilled estate planning attorney. At the Leydorf Law Firm, PLLC, a Lansing power of attorney lawyer can listen to your needs and motivations to help draft a document that suits your specific situation.
Under normal circumstances, you have complete authority over decisions concerning your own finances and property. However, this may change if you decide to willingly transfer this power to another. Through a POA, you can designate another person to take full legal control over your financial affairs, which could include:
It is important to note that a typical POA does not grant the holder the right to make medical decisions. These are separate documents that have their own legal requirements.
According to Michigan Estates and Protected Individuals Code § 700.5501, a power of attorney is only valid if the maker has the intent to create it. Additionally, the document must contain the maker’s signature and either the signature of two witnesses or the acknowledgment of a notary public who witnessed the maker’s signing. A lawyer at our local firm can provide more information about the legal requirements for creating a power of attorney.
Unless the documentation states otherwise, a power of attorney is both general and durable. As a knowledgeable attorney can explain, this means the POA grants the designated person the ability to act as they see fit for the maintenance of the creator. It also means that the document will remain in effect until either the creator dies or specifically revokes the power.
By contrast, a specific POA can be used to serve a certain function and limit the powers of the designated person. For instance, a person may be out of the country for an extended period of time and authorize another to sell their house on their behalf. The documentation must then explicitly state that the power of attorney is for this express purpose.
Powers of attorney can also include time limitations. Under these circumstances, the holder has full authority as attorney-in-fact, but only for a certain amount of time. A Lansing POA attorney can help choose the right document for your circumstances and draft terms that meet your needs.
Situations may arise that make it necessary for you to give another person the authority to act on your behalf. Enacting a power of attorney allows a trusted individual to handle your finances. However, you should fully understand the impact and limitations of these documents before trying to draft one.
A Lansing power of attorney lawyer can help identify your specific goals and craft documents that make those goals a reality while limiting potential exposure to harm or abuse. At Leydorf Law Firm, PLLC, we believe that strong communication is the key to successful estate planning, so reach out to our firm today to discuss.
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