Estate Planning and Elder Law
Social Security Appeals
A power of attorney creates an agency relationship in which another person or persons (called Attorney in Fact) is given authority to act for the person (called the Principal) who wishes to provide for someone to act in their behalf, usually at their direction. A durable power of attorney provides for the authority to continue after the principal becomes unable to act for themselves.
As we or our parents age, we often are advised to put a power of attorney in place so that guardianship is not needed. It is also helpful for parents of special needs persons who wish to continue to receive communication from teachers and medical professionals regarding their adult handicapped child. Any person over the age of 18 years, who has not been adjudicated as incompetent, is considered to be competent to sign contracts, have the right to privacy regarding their medical care, etc.
Powers of Attorney can usually be revoked by the principal so long as he or she remains competent. Powers of Attorney can also be drafted to provide “springing” powers which the attorney in fact cannot exercise until the principal is determined to be no longer competent to make their own decisions.