The scope of the authority the principal grants to the agent can be very broad or quite specific. The power of attorney document specifies exactly what that authority looks like. For example, it is customary to give someone the power to make decisions about your:
- Personal property
- Real estate
- Personal and family matters
- Insurances and annuities
- Government benefits
The agent can be granted authority to make only financial decisions or just health care decisions. Every situation is different and calls for a customized document reflecting the wishes of the principal.
When it comes to powers of attorney, there are several options for granting decision-making authority in your life. A power of attorney cannot address all situations and is not recommended as a substitute for a living will, or a Trust.
If you are looking to give comprehensive authority to another in the event you are unable to make decisions for yourself, and in the event of your death, consider executing a separate advance health care directive for medical decisions and creating a Living Trust to hold title to your assets to meet those needs.
Financial institutions are often hesitant to accept a power of attorney and may require your family to go to Court to get access to your assets in the event you are incapacitated. And, a power of attorney will not keep your family out of Court in the event of your death.
One of the main goals of our law practice is to help families like yours plan for the safe, successful transfer of wealth to the next generation. Call our office today to schedule a time for us to sit down and talk about your estate plan, where we can identify the best strategies for you and your family to ensure your legacy of love and financial security. Our office is located in Santa Ana, CA but we serve all of California including Irvine, Orange, Tustin, Newport Beach, and Anaheim.