Power of Attorney

Power of Attorney Allows Another Person To Act For You

Power of attorney (POA) is a legal mechanism by which you can name another individual or corporate entity to act as your 'attorney in fact' or 'agent', or your legal representative in a -- or all -- matters of business, law and even healthcare.

Kinds of POA

There are many circumstances in which you might want to give someone the right to speak for you -- but clearly in most of them you wouldn't want to give that person the right to speak for you in all matters. That's what Arkansas recognizes a few different kinds of POA:

  • General: General Power of Attorney gives someone the authority to speak for you in all matters of business and law. You may choose in the POA contract under which conditions their power is automatically revoked, but it is always granted immediately upon the signing of the contract.
  • Specific: Specific Power of Attorney is like General, but restricts the authority to a specified area or areas of authority; for example, someone might be able to speak for you in matters of healthcare, but not others.
  • Durable: Durable Power of Attorney can be either General or Specific, but whatever authority granted is only given when you are unable to speak for yourself due to injury, disease, or mental incompetence.
  • Healthcare: Healthcare Power of Attorney allows someone you trust to make decisions pertaining to your healthcare when you are incapacitated and unable to to make your own decisions.

Uses of an Attorney In Fact “Agent” Under a Durable Power of Attorney

Having a Durable Power of Attorney in place is a vital piece of any comprehensive estate plan. Your agent can have very limited roles or very comprehensive roles in dealing with your business and financial decisions, for example:

  • If you have business overseas that you can't get to in person
  • If you have to pay bills and are unable to leave the house
  • If you want your realtor to have the ability to sell a home for you
  • If you want to give your spouse the right to make decisions about your share of a business partnership while you are visiting distant family members.
  • And countless other scenarios depending on the limits you place in your Durable Power of Attorney.

HEALTH CARE POWER OF ATTORNEY IS AN ESSENTIAL PART OF YOUR OVERALL ESTATE PLAN

It is critical that you name a healthcare proxy (agent) as a part of your overall estate plan. Your healthcare proxy (agent) must be someone that you trust completely, and in fact this person you name is being trusted to make life and death decisions for you! When does your healthcare proxy (agent) make decisions for you? Typically in the following situations:

  • When you are permanently unconscious or in a vegetative state, or
  • When you have a terminal condition and are unable to speak for yourself, or
  • When your mental abilities have deteriorated to the point that you are incapable of making a sound decision on your own behalf.

Otherwise, you remain responsible for your own health care decisions.

There are innumerable reasons why you might want to use the Power of Attorney statutes to name someone else to act on your behalf -- if you think you might have good reason to do so, call Schmidt Law Firm at 888-459-3077 and talk to an experienced lawyer about how using power of attorney can benefit you. Want to learn more about our firm then click here now.

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