Power of Attorney

What You Need to Know About Being Named a Power of Attorney Agent for a Parent

When a parent names only one child to the role of power of attorney agent in Michigan, this can possibly generate conflict within the family. If you are dealing with a sibling who has already been named agent under a power of attorney instead of you, or if you have been named agent under a power of attorney over your siblings, here are some important tips to keep in mind.

First of all, an agent under a financial power of attorney does not have the right to bar a sibling from seeing their parent. A medical power of attorney, however, could give that agent the opportunity to prevent access to a parent if it is believed that the visit could be detrimental to the parent’s health.

Next, your parent does not have any legal responsibility to inform you about whom they chose as their agent. In fact, the agent who is appointed under the power of attorney is not required to provide information about the parent to other family members without the parent’s wishes or permission.

You should also be aware that a parent becomes unable to revoke a power of attorney if he or she becomes incompetent. If a parent has become incompetent and is no longer able to remove this power of attorney agent on his or her own and you suspect that the agent is acting inappropriately, family members are eligible to initiate a petition in court challenging that agent.

The court will evaluate the factors of the specific case and if it is determined that the POA agent is not acting in the best interests of the principal, the court can revoke the power of attorney.

The last thing to know about being appointed as a power of attorney agent is that a Michigan power of attorney ends at death. The agent no longer has any power over the principal’s estate, since it will be the executor or the personal representative who will be appointed to serve in that role.

Estate Planning 101 On A Yellow Legal Pad

What’s the Difference Between a Living Trust and Power of Attorney?

When it comes to estate planning, there are some basics that everyone should have, but there are also some tools you might or might not need depending on your individual goals.

A living trust gives a person known, as a trustee, the ability to use your money for certain expenses, such as those from a hospital, but it does not give them clear direction about the kind of medical decisions you’d like to make. This is where a power of attorney document can be more beneficial.

A power of attorney, when appropriately drafted by a lawyer, can give a person the permission to use assets for your medical care and to give them instructions about the type of medical care you’re willing to undergo. You might have personal feelings that should be documented and explained to your power of attorney agent.

For example, if your heart were to stop you might not wish to be resuscitated. Other people might have strong beliefs about donating or not donating their organs. A power of attorney allows you to make these important decisions, in addition to providing assets with which to pay for them.

A living trust is very beneficial for dividing certain assets after you pass away or even while you’re still alive, but it does not allow other people to make health care decisions for you. You need a separate document for that, known as a durable power of attorney. For more questions about making medical decisions and appointing people to make these crucial care choices for you, schedule a consultation with a Michigan estate planning lawyer.


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Is It Safe to Use a POA Form Found Online?

A simple Google search for a power of attorney in your state will present a variety of POA forms that can be found online. While it is certainly possible for you to fill out or print this documentation, it is ill advised to use for a variety of reasons.

A power of attorney should be created with your specific situation in mind. This is due to the fact that you are likely bestowing on your attorney in fact a great deal of power to make financial and care decisions on your behalf.

You should always have a power of attorney that is custom drafted by a knowledgeable estate planning lawyer so that it can be aligned specifically with your circumstances. Getting a power of attorney document downloaded for free or for a fee on the internet could expose you to using a document that:

  • Is too ambiguous to be interpreted or used properly
  • Lacks important authorities that the document should contain
  • Is not current based on the laws and rules of your area
  • Does not represent details of your unique situation
  • Fails to meet the legal requirements of your state

An ambiguous power of attorney is one of the most dangerous aspects of executing a document that is not in line with what you need and fails to accomplish your individual goals. Schedule a consultation with a lawyer who is familiar with POA documents so that you can craft a document specific to your family. Your MI estate planning lawyer is here to support you.



Still Life Of Power Of Attorney Document On Desk

If Your Child Just Went Off to College, They Need a Power of Attorney

This year, sending a child off to college probably looks like none other. But it’s still equally important to do the necessary planning to ensure you’ve protected them, as well as you, in the event that you are the person they choose to make decisions on their behalf if they become incapacitated.

As a parent, you won’t necessarily be able to step in and handle matters for them unless they legally authorize you to do so. This could include things like renewing their insurance policies, filing their tax returns, initiating a lawsuit on their behalf or accessing their bank account to pay bills.

This requires a power of attorney. A power of attorney is a document that allows another person to act as your agent and conduct business on your behalf. And yes, if you have an 18-year old college student in your family, you will need a power of attorney to handle these types of activities for them. There are many types of powers of attorney including a healthcare power of attorney and a financial power of attorney. A healthcare power of attorney appoints an agent to make medical decisions on behalf of the creator, whereas a financial power of attorney addresses more of the issues mentioned above.

If you do not have a power of attorney and become incapacitated, your loved ones would have to file for guardianship to handle your financial and legal affairs. This can be a very complicated and frustrating process and it is one that is easily avoided by scheduling a consultation with an estate planning lawyer in Plymouth, MI.