Power Of Attorney
What Is A Power Of Attorney Document Under Minnesota State Law?
The power of attorney document grants someone else the authority to act as a person’s agent, or to act in their interest. This includes the ability to engage in financial transactions that would otherwise be conducted by the person (e.g. pay bills, do banking, start a lawsuit). A power of attorney expires upon death, but it is a very powerful document while a person is still alive.
How Do I Select An Agent For A Power Of Attorney?
The person who is selected as the agent for a power of attorney should be trustworthy. No one should choose an agent who would act in their own interests, such as by making investments or transactions that benefit themselves rather than the person they have been chosen to represent. It is important to keep power of attorney papers safe and never be pressured into signing a power of attorney document.
Can I Create Different Power Of Attorney Documents For Different Responsibilities?
It is possible to assign different responsibilities to different agents. For example, one person could be granted the authority to do banking, and someone else could be granted the authority to engage in real estate transactions. When creating power of attorney documents, it is important to keep in mind one’s goals, and how best to limit each agent’s responsibilities. I would caution against making agent assignments too complicated.
What Is The Durable Power Of Attorney?
A durable power of attorney is a power of attorney that lasts even if the person becomes incapacitated, and it is a really important piece of estate planning. Most people are able to engage in their own financial transactions unless they become incapacitated, which is why this power of attorney is durable.
What Is A Springing Power Of Attorney?
A springing power of attorney starts at incapacity, meaning when someone becomes incapacitated, the power of attorney would spring forward and become effective. The issue is that there must be an analysis of what incapacity means for that person in the document. I would caution against using a springing power of attorney. In fact, our statute has a statutory short form power of attorney, which is the form recognized by most financial agencies.
What Is A Healthcare Directive? Should Everyone Have A Healthcare Directive?
A healthcare directive appoints a healthcare agent to assist the medical team in making healthcare decisions for someone. Not everyone has the same healthcare objectives; some people tell me that if they will no longer be able to walk, then they would not want to be rehabilitated, while other people feel differently. It is important for a person to use the healthcare directive to express to their family members and healthcare agents how they would want to be treated in specific situations. By expressing these wishes in writing, the right people will know in advance how to respond to various situations.
What Is The Difference Between A Healthcare Directive And A Durable Power Of Attorney?
A healthcare directive is specifically for healthcare and includes HIPAA authorization, which enables the family to access healthcare records. The power of attorney form directs the agent to handle the person’s financial affairs.
My Parent Is Ill In The Hospital And Their Healthcare Directive And Power Of Attorney Were Found To Be Invalid. What Can My Siblings And I Do At This Point?
If the child of an ill parent finds that their parent’s healthcare directive and power of attorney are invalid, then they could petition the court for guardianship or to direct the hospital to take certain actions on behalf of the family. Even if the healthcare directive is declared invalid because it was from 10 years, it is still the voice of the person who can no longer speak. If necessary, the courts will make a decision as to whether the person’s wishes—as stated in the invalid healthcare directive—are still appropriate.
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