Judith B. Paul Law Blog

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Power of Attorney Documents

Every attorney receives a call from a family member at least once in their career requesting a power of attorney for someone else.  Most recently I spoke with a friend who said he had received such a call. 

A Power of Attorney is a legal document that gives powers and authorities to someone else called the agent, on behalf of another person, called the grantor.  This is a serious document, and can be used against the grantor by someone who is not acting in the best interestsof the grantor.

The grantor must have the capacity to execute the document and understand what he or she is signing and what he or she wants to do. It's an unfortunate situation when a power of attorney would be the perfect document to have in that legal arsenal to help an individual but no such thing has been prepared and the person is now not capable of making any decisions.  

When calling on behalf of another person and advising an attorney that you need a power of attorney for someone else, the attorney may be immediately concerned. If possible, discuss the need for a power of attorney with this grantor before such a need arises and speak with an attorney who practices in this area to obtain one that will not be set aside for some failure to properly execute the document.  

If a Power of Attorney is not going to work due to the inability of the gnantor to understand the complexitites of the situation, discuss the possibility of a guardianship with the attorney.

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