Powers of Attorney
A power of attorney is an important legal document that can be beneficial to individuals with business needs for a surrogate for document signing and contract execution as well as forward-thinking individuals wanting to ensure future decisions are appropriately made. Eastwood Estate and Probate Law has experience drafting powers of attorney in both circumstances.
General Power of Attorney
Simply stated, a power of attorney is a legal document that authorizes someone to act for you. You name someone known as the agent or attorney-in-fact (the person does not actually need to be an attorney) who steps into your shoes, legally speaking. You authorize your agent to take certain actions for you, such as sign checks and tax returns, enter into contracts, buy or sell real estate, deposit or withdraw funds, run a business, or anything else you could do for yourself. The authority you give the other person can be general (for example, undertaking the actions just described) or a specific power of attorney for a particular event, such as a real estate closing or contract signing when you might be unavailable or out of town.
A general power of attorney is only effective when the principal has the legal capacity to act. In other words, if you are injured, sick, or disabled to the point that you are unable to communicate, a regular (also called “ordinary”) power of attorney is no longer effective.
Durable Power of Attorney
A durable power of attorney, however, continues to hold legal effect after you become incapacitated to the point of being unable to communicate your wishes. Lindsey Eastwood Law can draft a durable power of attorney so that the power of attorney automatically takes place and continues on into your disability, or we can specify that the power of attorney takes effect only upon you becoming incapacitated. This document allows you to specify a primary and alternate agent (also called “attorney-in-fact”) who will transact business on your behalf in the event you become incapacitated. In the event of a health crisis, this preventative measure greatly reduces stress on your family. However, this document, alone is insufficient to manage your affairs because it terminates at your death. Your will then becomes effective and helps expedite the probate process.
If you have questions about executing a durable power of attorney or regular power attorney for a general or specific purpose, please contact Lindsey Eastwood to schedule an appointment to discuss your needs and specific situation.
Contact Lindsey M. Eastwood
2001 Park Place, Suite 875
Birmingham, AL 35203