Shelby County Power of Attorney Attorney

Life is unpredictable, but a power of attorney can help you be prepared. Whether you are planning for someone to handle your financial, legal, or business matters, providing an agent with authority over your affairs can provide peace of mind in any situation.

At Berkley Oliver PLLC, we believe that estate planning is an important step for everyone. No matter what your unique situation looks like, our team can help you draft a power of attorney that is legally sound and in line with your goals. Contact us to talk with an estate lawyer today.

What is a Power of Attorney?

A power of attorney (POA) is a legal document that empowers you to choose a trusted person — called an “agent” — to manage legal, business, or financial decisions on your behalf. 

Within the POA document, you can meticulously outline the specific abilities granted to your chosen agent. A few of the common powers that an agent may have include:

  • Handling banking transactions
  • Managing investments
  • Buying or selling real estate
  • Managing business operations
  • Initiating legal actions
  • Filing tax returns
  • Settling debts

When drafting the POA, skilled attorneys like those at Berkley Oliver PLLC can help you clearly outline the scope and limitations of your agent’s authority. Working with a lawyer throughout this process can help safeguard your assets and interests. 

Power of Attorney Limitations

Though a POA grants considerable authority to the appointed agent, three main limitations apply to every document. Regardless of the situation, an agent cannot:

  • Transfer the responsibility to a new agent
  • Vote on the behalf of the principal
  • Make or alter a will

In addition to those inherent limitations, you can place specific restrictions on what your agent can or cannot do. Since these documents can be lengthy and complex, it’s valuable to consult an attorney if you have specific powers you want to exclude. 

How Long is a Power of Attorney Valid?

You can choose to have the POA go into effect immediately or only during a specific circumstance, such as if you become incapacitated due to an injury or illness. Once the POA is in effect, your agent will have the authority to make financial decisions or address legal matters on your behalf. 

The duration of the document’s legal validity depends on what type of POA you choose — limited or durable. Both are different in terms of how long they last and how they expire:

  • Limited POAs are only valid for a specific period of time that is outlined in the original document. Most will also end if you become mentally incapacitated. 
  • Durable POAs are typically meant to last a lifetime, even if you become ill or injured. They usually only end if you choose to revoke the POA, change your agent, or pass away. 

Regardless of which type of POA you have, it’s important to note that it will expire upon your death. You can also revoke the POA or change your agent at any time, which will override the original document. 

Do I Need a Power of Attorney?

Choosing to appoint an agent to handle your financial or legal affairs is a significant decision. While it can be intimidating to enact a POA, doing so can offer a lot of benefits in certain situations. 

One common reason that people choose to write a POA is to give their spouse legal control over financial or legal decisions should the principal become ill. Though many people assume those rights automatically fall to the married spouse, without a POA, some powers may not transfer even in the event of a debilitating illness. 

Other people may want a limited POA to manage their affairs while on deployment for the military or traveling abroad for a long period. Even young adults in college may need to grant their parents powers to handle their affairs in their state of residence while they attend college elsewhere.  There are a lot of uses for both durable and limited POAs, and if you aren’t sure whether it’s time to draft one, consider speaking with a lawyer to learn more about the possibilities. 

Why Work With an Estate Planning Attorney?

While it is technically possible to draft your own POA, it’s advisable to seek help from a qualified attorney. These documents can have a huge impact on your life and assets. Errors or ambiguous language can set you up for disputes, unintended consequences, and frustration in the future. 

An estate planning lawyer will help you navigate the complexity of a POA to not only protect your best interests but also ensure the document meets all state requirements to be legally valid. 

At Berkley Oliver PLLC, we understand that crafting a detailed POA is a crucial step in securing your future. Whether you are navigating real estate transactions, legal decisions, or financial management, our team works to find solutions that fit your unique situation.

Skilled Estate Planning Lawyers in Kentucky

If you are planning to appoint a power of attorney, Berkley Oliver PLLC is here to help you through each step. Serving the communities of Shelby County, Spencer County, and beyond, our attorneys strive to provide compassionate and accurate guidance that is tailored to your needs. 

Choose Berkley Oliver PLLC for a personal, trustworthy approach to estate planning and appointing a POA. If you want to learn more, give us a call to speak with an estate attorney today.