Forge Ahead Toward A
brighter future
with our help.

How can a Power of Attorney protect your assets during unexpected medical crises?

Latest News

What is a Power of Attorney and How Can It Protect My Assets?

A Power of Attorney (POA) is a legal document that allows you to appoint an “agent” or “attorney-in-fact” to manage your assets and make decisions on your behalf should you become unable to do so. This can be particularly useful during unexpected medical crises when you might be incapacitated and unable to manage your financial affairs.

In California, there are different types of POAs, each serving a unique purpose. A Durable Power of Attorney, for instance, remains in effect even if you become incapacitated. This means your appointed agent can manage your assets, pay your bills, and make important financial decisions even if you’re unable to do so.

How Can I Set Up a Power of Attorney to Protect My Assets?

Setting up a Power of Attorney in California requires careful consideration and legal expertise. You’ll need to choose someone you trust to manage your assets and make decisions on your behalf. This person should be reliable, trustworthy, and capable of handling financial matters.

Once you’ve chosen your agent, you’ll need to create the POA document. This document should clearly outline the powers you’re granting to your agent. It’s crucial to be specific about what your agent can and cannot do. For instance, you might allow your agent to manage your bank accounts but not sell your property.

After drafting the POA, you must sign it in the presence of a notary public. In California, your agent also needs to sign the document. It’s preferable to consult with an experienced attorney during this process to ensure your POA is legally sound and meets your specific needs.

What Happens if I Don’t Have a Power of Attorney During a Medical Crisis?

Without a Power of Attorney, your assets could be at risk during a medical crisis. If you become incapacitated and unable to manage your financial affairs, a court may appoint a conservator to handle your assets. This process can be lengthy, expensive, and stress-inducing for your loved ones. Moreover, the court-appointed conservator may not manage your assets according to your wishes.

Can I Revoke a Power of Attorney if My Circumstances Change?

Yes, you can revoke a Power of Attorney at any time, as long as you are mentally competent. This is important because your circumstances or your relationship with your appointed agent may change. For instance, if you appointed your spouse as your agent and later get divorced, you might want to revoke the POA and appoint someone else.

To revoke a POA in California, you need to provide written notice of revocation to your agent and any institutions or persons that have a copy of the POA. Consult with an attorney to ensure the revocation is done correctly and legally.

What if My Appointed Agent Misuses Their Power?

Unfortunately, there are instances where an appointed agent may misuse their power and act against your best interests. They might misuse your assets, fail to pay your bills, or make poor financial decisions. In such cases, it’s crucial to take immediate action.

In California, you can revoke the POA and appoint a new agent. You can also take legal action against the agent for breach of fiduciary duty. An experienced attorney can assist you in navigating this process to protect your assets.

Can a Power of Attorney Help Me Plan for Long-Term Care?

Absolutely. A Power of Attorney can be an essential part of planning for long-term care. As you age, you might need assistance with daily activities or medical care. A POA allows you to appoint someone to make decisions about your care and manage your financial affairs if you’re unable to do so.

For instance, you might appoint your adult child as your agent to make decisions about your care, manage your medical bills, and handle your assets. This can provide peace of mind, knowing that your affairs will be handled as you wished.

Can a Power of Attorney Protect My Business Interests?

Yes, a Power of Attorney can also protect your business interests. If you own a business, you can appoint an agent to manage your business affairs if you’re unable to do so. This can include making decisions, signing contracts, and handling financial matters.

For example, if you’re a sole proprietor, your agent can continue running your business during your incapacity. If you’re a partner in a business, your agent can represent your interests in the partnership.

How Can an Experienced Attorney Help Me Protect My Assets?

An experienced attorney can provide invaluable assistance in setting up a Power of Attorney. They can guide you in the proper criteria for choosing an agent, drafting the POA document, and ensuring it meets all legal requirements in California.

A Power of Attorney is a powerful legal tool that can safeguard your assets and ensure that your financial affairs are managed appropriately and according to your wishes. If you’re considering setting up a POA, call the Resolve Law Firm today at (213) 583-5547 for a free case evaluation!

Related Articles