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At Herrig & Vogt, LLP, we provide our clients with a full spectrum of estate planning solutions. These include wills and trusts, documents used to direct the distribution of assets upon the death of the individual, but they also include estate planning instruments that come into play during the life of the client. One of the most common types of estate planning documents is the power of attorney. Our Roseville estate planning lawyers have more than a century of experience and can help you understand your options for ensuring that your wishes are carried out.
A power of attorney is a legal instrument by which you, as the principal, appoint another person to serve as your attorney-in-fact. In the role of attorney-in-fact, the other party is granted the authority to act on your behalf in legal matters such as purchasing or selling property, handling your bank accounts, managing your investments, paying your bills, purchasing and selling real estate, paying your debts, filing your taxes, applying for public assistance benefits and more.
Powers of attorney are highly flexible in terms of how they can be drafted. You can choose to grant the attorney-in-fact nearly unlimited powers, or you may list only a few, specific powers in acting on your behalf. Further, you can choose to define the duration and scope of the power of attorney. In the context of estate planning, it is most common to use a durable power of attorney, which will come into effect in the event that you become incapacitated due to a serious illness or injury.
By drafting a power of attorney, you can relieve your loved ones of the potential for the strife and stress that they might experience in trying to figure out who should assume control of your estate. Furthermore, you can ensure that the person who is in charge during your incapacity is someone whom you trust, rather than leaving it up to the decision of the court. When they hire us to draft a power of attorney, many of our clients also request that we create a healthcare proxy, which is a document that you can use to appoint an agent who will make decisions concerning the scope and nature of medical treatment that you will receive in the event of incapacity.
In the event that the personal estate of a friend or family member of yours is being managed by an attorney-in-fact, and you have reason to believe that something is amiss, we may be able to help you. If, upon investigation of the situation, it appears that the attorney-in-fact is violating the terms of the power of attorney or is guilty of some type of misconduct, it might be necessary to bring a petition to the probate court.
The judge may take action to correct the situation, including possibly removing the attorney-in-fact from his or her fiduciary position. Similarly, the attorney-in-fact may bring a petition to court if he or she is met with resistance in having the power of attorney recognized by those with whom he or she needs to do business. Whether you are interested in drafting a power of attorney or if you need to resolve disputes involving an existing document, our Roseville probate attorney can help.
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