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A Power of Attorney form is a written and notarized document stating that a person, called the principal, gives another one, called the agent (or attorney in fact), the power and authority to act on his/her behalf. A power of attorney document, although it could be recorded, is a private act between two or more people.
The principal has the ability to either appoint more than one agent at the same time (co-agents) or to list a series of agents who will come into action only if needed (the first one first, then the second one in the event the first one cannot act, etc.). Agents who act at the same time might be asked to act jointly – this might be useful and in the principal’s best interest, so they can “keep an eye on each other”.
The principal has also the ability to give all of the power listed in the document (and in that case the agents will be able to broadly make financial decisions for the principal) – also called “general” power of attorney form, or to restrict the appointment to only some matters (such as real estate or banking) – hence the term “special power of attorney”. The generality of specificity refers to how broad the powers are, not how the document is drafted.
A power of attorney document can be effective immediately, or be springing (meaning it will become effective only if and if and when the principal will become incapacitated). Power of attorney forms that are effective immediately are often used by spouses when one travels a lot for business or is deployed overseas.
The incapacitation of a principal is determined usually by two doctors. Sometimes, in cases of elderly people, it’s hard to establish whether a person is fully capable of understanding, or he/she is simply having a hard time because of Alzheimer or medications. That’s why often time elderly people choose to give their loved one the power to make financial decisions for them effective immediately (meaning from the day the document is signed) – to unburden them from the necessity to prove incapacitation.
The Document People is a network of legal document assistants Los Angeles with a common purpose: helping customers with their legal forms in Los Angeles. We are looking forward to offering assistance with your financial power of attorney in our offices in Woodland Hills, Santa Monica, Glendale, San Fernando, Torrance, Anaheim and Oceanside. Santa Monica We The People, Woodland Hills We The People.
The information contained in this blog – including information of a legal nature – is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter.