A power of attorney is a device that is utilized across the legal field to empower a representative to act on behalf of someone else. When you execute a power of attorney, you are referred to as the principal. The individual that you name in the document to act on your behalf is called the agent or attorney-in-fact.
Some individuals are misled by the term “attorney-in-fact.” To act as an agent under a power of attorney, you do not have to hold a legal degree and work as a licensed lawyer. Any competent adult can act as an agent under a power of attorney.
However, the person who is named in the document as the agent must be willing to assume the role.
We focus on the fields of estate planning and elder law. In our area of specialization, durable powers of attorney are often used. If you want to be comprehensively prepared for the eventualities of aging, you should consider end-of-life issues. Durable powers of attorney are used to account for possible latter life incapacity.
If you were to become unable to make sound decisions on your own without making any plans to account for this contingency, the state of North Dakota could be petitioned to appoint a guardian to make decisions for you. This is a safeguard that is necessary, but there are some potential pitfalls to take into consideration.
For one, the people that you love may not be in agreement with regard to the best course of action, and this can cause hard feelings during a time when family members should be coming together in support of one another. Plus, the court may select a person to act as a guardian that you never would have chosen yourself when you were capable of making sound decisions.
When you create durable powers of attorney, you name agents to act on your behalf. If you are proactive about planning ahead, you can prevent a guardianship. Your own hand-picked decision-makers would be empowered to handle your affairs.
We should point out the fact that durable powers of attorney are used because a power of attorney that is not durable would no longer be in effect even if the grantor was to become incapacitated.
Now that we have provided a general overview, we can address the question that serves as the title of this blog post. A power of attorney would terminate whenever you want it to. You could pick out a particular date, or it could terminate when a particular event takes place. The power can also be set up to last throughout the entirety of your life.
When you use a durable power of attorney for incapacity planning purposes, you would probably want the power to remain effective for the rest of your life. However, we should point out the fact that a power of attorney of any kind will automatically terminate upon the death of the grantor.
If you recognize the importance of incapacity planning, send us a message through this page to set up a free consultation: Grand Forks ND Incapacity Planning.