As difficult as it is to imagine, there might come a time in your life where you are unable to make important decisions on your own. This might be because of a sudden traumatic accident, or because of a slowly progressing condition like Alzheimer’s or dementia.
Whatever the cause, it is important to have safeguards in place to protect you. A Power of Attorney is one of the best ways to do this. Here are some answers to commonly asked questions about Powers of Attorney in Colorado.
What type of Power of Attorney is right for me?
There are four main types of Powers of Attorney in Colorado. Which one you choose to use depends on what your goals are. A Financial Power of Attorney (also called a General Power of Attorney) allows a person to make financial and property-related decisions on your behalf. A Medical Power of Attorney grants the ability to make medical decisions on your behalf. A Durable Power of Attorney combines these two, and grants the ability to make both financial and medical decisions. You also have the option to create a Limited Power of Attorney, which grants only those powers you wish to convey.
Who do I give Power of Attorney to?
You can give Power of Attorney to anyone you trust to carry out your wishes (it doesn’t have to be a lawyer). Generally speaking, this person — who is called an “agent”— is supposed to act however you would act in similar circumstances. As such, it is usually best to choose someone who you know very well and who you trust to protect your interests. You should also choose a successor in case your agent dies or is unable to act.
How does a Power of Attorney take effect?
Powers of Attorney can take effect in one of two ways, depending on how they’re structured. A “springing” Power of Attorney only goes into effect when a certain event happens. For example, you might create it to take effect only when you are unconscious or otherwise unable to communicate your wishes. A “standing” Power of Attorney goes into effect when it is signed by the person creating it.
How to I create a Power of Attorney?
Like other estate planning tools, a Power of Attorney must be drafted and notarized to be effective. It is best to work with an experienced estate planning attorney to ensure you are properly protected.