According to state law, every adult has the sole authority to make decisions about their legal rights. Others, not even family members, are not allowed to decide anything without the subject’s consent. However, if an individual does give this consent, someone else can make important decisions on their behalf. This can include making medical, financial, or estate planning choices. This transfer of authority is often accomplished through a legal document known as a power of attorney.
If you require assistance with making any of these important decisions, a St. Charles County power of attorney lawyer could assess your situation and help predict your future needs. A diligent estate planning representative could help draft these power of attorney documents in a way that gives them the intended legal impact.
Why Create a Power of Attorney?
Being able to make one’s own choices is central to one’s autonomy as an adult. Common decisions that most adults need to make include buying or selling property, applying for government benefits, or protecting one’s legal rights during disputes. When an individual becomes unable to make these choices for themselves, a power of attorney might become the right option. There are many factors that might make someone unable to decide on their own behalf.
Perhaps the most common reason to create a power of attorney is an anticipated medical condition. If an individual receives a diagnosis that is likely to result in their inability to properly care for their own affairs in the near future, it may be best to transfer authority to another individual through a power of attorney.
These arrangements can also be useful for more limited purposes. For instance, a person may wish to sell a home while working out of the country for an extended period of time. A limited power of attorney can empower another person, like someone located within the country, to conduct a sale on the other party’s behalf, with full legal authority.
If a person or family in St. Charles County is trying to decide whether a power of attorney is right for them, our hardworking lawyers could assess their unique situation and help them move forward.
General vs. Limited Powers of Attorney
Generally speaking, there are two different kinds of powers of attorney. The most impactful variety is known as a general power of attorney. These arrangements grant the holder of the document the sole legal authority to act as a fiduciary on behalf of the subject. This means that the holder may make choices concerning every financial and legal aspect of the subject’s life. According to Missouri Revised Statute § 404.710, the holder of a general power of attorney must act in good faith towards the creator, only making decisions in this person’s best interests. A failure to do so could result in the holder facing legal liability for all relevant losses, damages, or reductions in the asset’s value.
Meanwhile, limited powers of attorney are a bit more restricted. These documents state a specific action that the recipient can perform. Therefore, these arrangements must be as precise as possible, transparently outlining the actions that the subject wants the holder to take and for how long the document should remain in effect. An intelligent representative in St. Charles could provide more information about the multiple options that exist when considering the creation of a power of attorney.
Contact a St. Charles County Power of Attorney Representative Today
If you are concerned that you will soon no longer be able to make crucial decisions about the future of your property, you should consider implementing an arrangement known as a power of attorney. For instance, you might want to do this if declining health or an unanticipated disability are changing your future plans.
A St. Charles County power of attorney lawyer is ready to help you evaluate your needs. They could explain how these arrangements work, determine the best path moving forward, and draft documents that meet the relevant legal requirements. Call as soon as possible to schedule your initial appointment.