‘What is a power of attorney and why do I need one?’ Answers from the Atascadero attorney

-A power of attorney (POA) is a legal document that authorizes someone to act on your behalf. This person is called your "attorney-in-fact" or "agent." POAs can be used for a variety of purposes, from managing financial affairs to making medical decisions. Adam Daner, the Atascadero attorney from the Daner Law Firm, explains why POAs are necessary and how they can protect you.

There are several reasons why a power of attorney can be necessary. For example, a POA allows the named individual to make certain decisions on your behalf in the event you are incapacitated. People who travel frequently or are leaving for an extended vacation often appoint a trusted friend or relative to manage certain important affairs in their absence.

In California, there are several different kinds of powers of attorney that you can use. Here are the most common types:

  • General Power of Attorney is a type of POA giving the named agent broad authority to act on your behalf in a variety of situations. For example, the agent might be authorized to manage finances, sign contracts, and make healthcare decisions. A general POA can be effective immediately or can become effective only if you become incapacitated.
  • Limited Power of Attorney gives the agent the authority to perform specific tasks or make specific decisions on your behalf such as selling a piece of property or managing a particular investment. A limited POA can be effective immediately or can become effective at a specific time in the future.
  • Durable Power of Attorney is similar to a general POA, but it remains in effect even if you become incapacitated, but also has protects the agent’s authority to act on your behalf. A consultation with the Atascadero attorney can help make the different types of POAs understandable.
  • Medical Power of Attorney gives the agent the authority to make medical decisions on your behalf if you are unable to do so. This can include decisions about life-sustaining treatment, pain management, and other medical interventions.
  • Financial Power of Attorney gives the agent the authority to manage finances and make financial decisions on your behalf. This can include paying bills, managing investments, and signing contracts.

It is important to choose an agent carefully when creating a power of attorney. The agent should be a trusted individual who will act in your best interests and who has the skills and knowledge necessary to make informed decisions on your behalf. It’s a good idea to name an alternate agent in case the primary agent is unable or unwilling to serve.

Powers of attorney are important components of estate planning, business succession planning, and making sure end-of-life wishes are honored. A consultation with the Atascadero attorney is going to help decide which POAs are going to best serve the need. For example, an individual’s estate would include the financial interest in a business, but an agent designated for a medical power of attorney may not be the same person designated as agent to make decisions about business interests. It’s worth the time to sit down with an experienced attorney to discuss estate planning, business succession and all of the associated POAs, as well as getting assistance designating the best agents.

The Daner Law Firm practices full service estate planning, business planning and civil litigation, in all state and federal courts in California and is also licensed in Nevada. Practicing law since 1994. Mr. Adam M. Daner has the breadth of experience to serve clients in a variety of matters.

Areas of practice include estate planning, real property, business planning and litigation for a wide range of legal matters. The Daner Law Firm assists with all of the aspects of estate planning and trusts, preparing and validating wills, Advanced Health Care Directives, durable power of attorney, guardianship and probate.

Mr. Daner helps clients establish an appropriate business entity such as sole proprietor, a limited liability company, partnership or incorporation and filing the required documents. Other business planning services include preparing agreements, contracts and other documents to protect the business, advising about business insurance and all the other legal matters involved with starting and maintaining a successful business.

Daner Law Firm
4555 El Camino Real, Unit J
Atascadero, CA 93422
(805) 464-5003