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When does a power of attorney take effect?

On Behalf of | Nov 23, 2021 | Estate Planning |

It is common for people to feel averse to the idea of turning over their personal power to another individual. The idea that someone else could take control over your financial circumstances or health care is likely one that you don’t relish.

Still, in limited circumstances, you may actually need someone else to manage your finances or make decisions about your medical care. If you experience some kind of personal emergency, you may not be able to communicate with others and manage your affairs. Once you lose the capacity to act on your own behalf or to communicate, it is too late to put any protections in place for yourself.

Creating powers of attorney now will help you if you have some kind of emergency in the future. When will the person you name be able to use those documents to access your financial accounts or talk with your doctor about your medical care?

You can limit when the other person uses the power of attorney

The simplest way to know exactly when someone else can utilize the authority you grant them is to be very specific about that authority in your documents. While you can easily find generic power of attorney forms online, generalized language isn’t the best protection when granting authority to another person.

Not only made the document have a different impact than you want, but it may even fall short of the rule for powers of attorney in Colorado. It’s important to make sure that your document is both specific to your personal circumstances and also compliant with state law.

You can place specific limitations on what circumstances allows someone to act on your behalf. You can also limit what authority they have, possibly limiting their access to one specific bank account or a specific set of medical decisions. When you create your own custom documents, you are ultimately in control of how much authority the other person has.

Powers of attorney can protect you without making you vulnerable

You don’t have to worry about someone abusing the authority you grant them if your power of attorney is highly specific. You also have the choice of naming a person or multiple people that you trust deeply to handle these matters on your behalf.

The combination of appropriate limitations on the authority granted by the documents and the right person to assume that authority can make a power of attorney a highly-protective document, rather than something that leaves you vulnerable to the misconduct of other people.

Addressing your potential future needs and protecting yourself from unforeseeable circumstances are important parts of the estate planning process.