Do you know who will make your decisions if you can no longer speak or act on your own? Do you know who will manage your assets? For too many people, the answer to these questions is no. You cannot afford to leave these issues up to chance. If you want to control your destiny and you want to save your family from fighting or being forced to make difficult choices, you need to create a power of attorney.
Schomer Law can help you to determine how a power of attorney can help protect you and your loved ones. Our Los Angeles power of attorney lawyers can also assist with the formal process of creating a power of attorney so you can ensure it is legally valid and enforceable when you need it most.
Whether you want help creating a power of attorney or whether you have been named as an agent and need assistance exercising your authority, our legal team is here for you. Give us a call now to find out how we can assist you and to get answers to questions including:
- Why do I need a power of attorney?
- How can I create a power of attorney?
- How can a Los Angeles power of attorney lawyer help me?
Why Do I Need a Power of Attorney?
While no one ever likes to think about it, there is a risk you could become unable to act on your own or manage your affairs. This risk exists no matter how old you are or in what phase of life you are in, although there is a statistically greater chance that you will face incapacity as you age compared with when you are younger.
Incapacity can happen due to dementia, due to another serious illness, or because you are badly hurt and become unable to communicate or make informed choices. Whenever incapacity happens, decisions will need to be made on your medical care, as well as on issues like how your property is to be managed.
If there is no power of attorney in place, your loved ones will need to try to determine who should act on your behalf. They may not have the authority to take the actions they need, and your affairs can go unmanaged for a time. Your loved ones will need to go to court to petition for guardianship, which is possible only after you are formally declared incapacitated. Your personal information will become court record, the person you would have chosen may not necessarily be named your guardian, and the process of securing guardianship can be expensive.
To avoid this undesirable outcome, to ensure you have an agent acting for you who you trust, and to save your family from grief and expense, you need a power of attorney.
How Can You Create a Power of Attorney?
There are different types of power of attorney, including a general and a limited power of attorney. A limited power of attorney allows you to grant authority only for a specific purpose, like giving someone the authority to sign a particular contract on your behalf because you will be away.
If you make a general grant of authority, on the other hand, you give broad power to someone to act for you in many different realms. The person who you choose to act for you will be considered your agent.
You should ensure you create a durable power of attorney when you name an agent, because otherwise the grant of authority ends upon incapacitation. Incapacitation is the time when the grant of authority is most needed, so you want to ensure you have correctly transferred authority to your agent during your time of need.
You also may wish to create a healthcare power of attorney in addition to a general durable power of attorney. While a durable power of attorney will give your agent the right to act on your behalf on financial and other matters, a healthcare power of attorney gives your agent the opportunity to make health decisions for you.
The specific legal requirements that must be followed to create an enforceable durable power of attorney are set in each individual state and you need to make sure you understand the California rules. Schomer Law knows how to help you create an enforceable power of attorney.
How Can a Los Angeles Power of Attorney Lawyer Help Me?
When you contact Schomer Law, you will be represented by lawyers with decades of collective knowledge and experience. We can help you to determine if you need a power of attorney and to explore alternatives like a living trust. We can also assist you in going forward with the process of creating a power of attorney so you never have to worry about who will take action in the event of incapacity. To learn more how we can help you, give us a call today.