Everyone is susceptible to injuries and illness. Therefore, the creation of power of attorney documents is an essential part of the estate planning process. By drafting power of attorney documents, you ensure that your wishes regarding your health and finances will be honored should you ever become incapacitated. In this article, we discuss creating power of attorney documents in Kentucky.
Types of Powers of Attorney in Kentucky
Most people include one or both of the following types of powers of attorney in their Kentucky estate plans:
- Financial power of attorney: This document permits someone to handle your business or financial matters should you become unable to do so yourself. The power of attorney can also be made active even before your incapacity.
- Health care power of attorney ( also called a Health care surrogate designation): A health care power of attorney allows someone to make medical decisions on your behalf should you become incapacitated. In Kentucky, this type of power of attorney is combined with a living will, which establishes a party’s wishes for medical treatment; when combined, these two documents are referred to as an advance directive.
In the majority of estate plans in Kentucky, these documents are durable powers of attorney, meaning that they remain effective even after a party becomes incapacitated.
Legal Requirements for Powers of Attorney in Kentucky
For a power of attorney in Kentucky to be valid, it must meet the following requirements:
- Mental capacity: First, the party creating a power of attorney must have the mental capacity to do so. This means that he or she must be of sound mind. However, determining whether a person has the capacity to create a power of attorney can be difficult. Therefore, when creating a power of attorney, legal guidance is suggested.
- Notarization: The prudent person will ensure a power of attorney is properly notarized. In Kentucky, when a person signs a power of attorney in the presence of a notary public, his or her signature is presumed to be genuine. In other words, having a power of attorney notarized lends credence to its validity. Failing to have a power of attorney notarized will also be problematic if your agent later needs to use it to transfer real property.
In addition, Kentucky used to require the signatures of two disinterested witnesses, but this requirement was removed in 2018. However, if conflict regarding the execution of a power of attorney is anticipated, it is advisable to have the documents witnessed to further strengthen its validity in the eyes of the court.
Contact a Shelby County Estate Planning Attorney
If you are ready to create an effective estate plan in Kentucky, Berkley Oliver PLLC is here to help. Our estate planning lawyers routinely create estate plans for clients throughout Central Kentucky. Regardless of your unique needs, our knowledgeable estate planning attorneys have the skills necessary to create an estate plan that will protect you and your family for years to come. Please contact us to arrange a free consultation with a Shelby County estate planning attorney.