How Do I Know When to Invoke A POA?

A power of attorney is an authority given to another person to act on behalf of an individual usually called a principal. The agreement is made into a legal document guiding the relationship between the attorney and the principal. There are four types namely: general power of attorney; durable power of attorney; special or limited power of attorney; and springing durable power of attorney.

There are many situations in which given out this authority may be advisable and necessary, for example, this power might be given out about property management and financial affairs, it may be given when one needs to collect benefits or when one desires to sell a home. In these situations, authority can be given to another person to sign a contract on behalf of a principal. There are some decisions in which this power can be delegated to another such as making health care decision.

Before this authority can be given to another, the principal must make sure that he understands the information contained in the document and that it conforms to that state’s requirements. He must be able to evaluate the information in the document and must be mentally fit to do such. Also, the principal must be able to communicate his intents clearly and effectively. To obtain the power of attorney is easy if some precise steps are taken. One of such steps is checking the state’s requirements to make sure one is on the right track. One needs to fill relevant forms and makes sure that the document is clear enough for all signatories.

The preceding paragraph must deal with the legal capacities of the principal. This is the ability of a person to arrive at decisions that are legally valid. This ability will guarantee his fitness to enter into a binding contractual agreement with other people. It also consists of the ability to choose who he will give the authority to. Legal capacity will enable the principal to make his intents clear to avoid misrepresentation.

This power can be revoked when the principal decides to do so. However, the process of revocation must be made explicit to all parties involved. The most important step in this process is to be sure of state’s requirements so as not to contravene laid down rules and regulations governing such procedure. All institutions involved in this process of revocation must be duly informed for necessary actions. In case of legal capacity issues such as when the principal becomes incapacitated or when he can no longer make decisions for himself because of mental depreciation or disability the family members can approach the court for revocation of the power of attorney. Also, this power can be revoked when one is no longer satisfied with the services being rendered by the attorney. It can also be revoked when there is a case of exploitation and abuse on the part of the attorney. Revocation can also occur when the attorney misuse his power.

Learn more about attorney Sean J. Nichols and the legal services he provides for clients including: estate planning, elder law issues, Medicaid planning, elder care, probate law, guardianships, and power of attorney (POA) at  To contact the offices of Sean J Nichols, call 734.386.0224 today.

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