Understanding Kentucky Powers Of Attorney

By Joshua Berkley

Are you contemplating either becoming a power of attorney for a loved one or needing to appoint a power of attorney on your behalf? In Kentucky, powers of attorney play a crucial role in granting individuals the authority to make decisions on behalf of others regarding legal and financial matters. These legal documents can provide a clear framework for decision-making and ensure that the interests of the person granting the power, known as the “principal,” are protected. Understanding the different types of powers of attorney available in Kentucky is essential for anyone looking to plan for future contingencies or manage their affairs more effectively. 

You can use various types of powers of attorney (POA) in Kentucky. These documents grant individuals the authority to make decisions on behalf of someone else, known as the principal when they cannot do so themselves. 

Different Powers Of Attorney  Used In Kentucky:

  • General Power of Attorney: A general power of attorney grants broad powers to an agent (also known as an attorney-in-fact) to manage the financial and legal affairs of the principal. Management of affairs can include handling bank accounts, signing contracts, and making financial decisions. A principal might utilize this type of POA when they want someone to manage their affairs with broad authority under a variety of circumstances.
  • Durable Power of Attorney: A durable power of attorney is a type of general power that remains effective in Kentucky even if the principal becomes incapacitated or mentally incompetent. It is a valuable tool because it allows the agent to continue managing the principal’s affairs in case of disability without having to make up a new document for the disability.
  • Limited or Special Power of Attorney: A limited or special power of attorney grants an agent specific and limited powers for a particular purpose or period. For example, the principal may give someone the authority to sell a specific property on their behalf. This type of POA is used when the principal needs assistance with a particular task or transaction but wants to avoid granting broad authority.
  • Health Care Power of Attorney: A health care power of attorney (HCPOA), also known as a medical power of attorney or a health care surrogate designation, authorizes an agent to make medical decisions on behalf of the principal if they cannot do so themselves. The HCPOA can then decide about medical treatments, surgeries, and end-of-life care. In Kentucky, this document is typically combined with a living will, which outlines the principal’s specific wishes regarding “end of life” medical treatments and life-sustaining measures. 
  • Springing Power of Attorney: A springing power of attorney only becomes effective upon a specific event, typically the principal’s incapacity. It provides a safeguard to ensure that the agent’s powers are activated only when needed. In Kentucky, a springing power of attorney must clearly define the triggering event when the agent takes over because of the described incapacity.  Depending on the circumstances, a springing power of attorney is not always advisable due to difficulties in proving to a financial institution that the principal is incapacitated.

Contact Our Kentucky Estate Planning Attorney Today

It is essential to consult with an attorney experienced in Kentucky’s laws when creating a power of attorney for planning purposes. An experienced estate planning attorney should carefully draft these documents to meet the specific needs and wishes of the principal while complying with State laws. Additionally, individuals should regularly review and update their powers of attorney to reflect changes in their circumstances or preferences.

Berkley Oliver, PLLC has experienced attorneys who are compassionate and understanding and will ensure that any decisions and documents are executed based on your desires and circumstances.  Contact our firm for a consultation to discuss your planning needs in greater detail.

About the Author
Josh Berkley is an attorney and owner at Berkley Oliver PLLC who helps individuals implement plans to protect their assets and their loved ones. Josh focuses his practice in the areas of Estate Planning, Probate, and Elder Law.  From assisting young parents in making a plan to provide for their children, to helping senior clients qualify for Medicaid, Josh works with clients to create estate plans and life plans tailored to each person’s specific goals. He also helps clients with a wide variety of important legal documents such Wills, Trusts, Powers of Attorney, Healthcare Surrogate Designations, and Living Wills. If you have any questions regarding this article, contact Josh here.