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Powers of Attorney

Estate-Planning

Experienced Orem Lawyers Draft Powers of Attorney

Reliable legal assistance for principals and agents

Power of attorney is the legal authority to act on behalf of another person. Parents have power of attorney over their children until they reach the age of majority or are emancipated. This legal authority allows parents to safeguard their children by making decisions for their health and welfare and managing their finances. But what if the parent is the one who needs assistance? If you have an elder parent who needs assistance with monthly bills or relies on you for healthcare decisions, you can and should formalize that relationship through a power of attorney. A knowledgeable estate planning lawyer at Skabelund Wirig & Loos can help you execute a power of attorney document that meets your needs and protects your loved one.

How power of attorney documents work in Utah

A power of attorney is a legal document that transfers authority from one person, known as the principal, to another person, called the agent. The authority can be broad or very limited, depending on the principal’s needs and the agent’s ability to serve. Agents are required to act for the benefit of the principal and to perform as the principal would want them to.

Two major areas that powers of attorney cover are:

  • Finance — In most cases, the agent is able to access the principal’s accounts to pay monthly bills. Depending on circumstances, the agent might also have authority to invest assets, sell property, and enter into contracts for the principal. An agent has fiduciary duties to the principal and can be held personally liable for mismanaging funds.
  • Healthcare — Generally, the agent is given authority to make healthcare decisions if and when the principal is incapacitated. Healthcare providers must also consider a principal’s advance healthcare directive, if one has been executed.

Utah law requires that a power of attorney be executed in the presence of a notary public. If the principal lives in a healthcare facility or is about to enter one, the agent cannot have a financial relationship with the facility.

Other important features of a power of attorney include:

  • Durability — A Utah power of attorney remains in force even after the principal is incapacitated or disabled, unless the terms expressly say otherwise.
  • Effective date — A power of attorney can be effective on the date of signing or on a future date. A “springing” power of attorney is one that becomes effective upon the occurrence of an event, such as the incapacity of the principal.

A principal can change the power of attorney at any time, but the change must be executed according to the law. A power of attorney terminates automatically when the principal or the agent dies, but it can also end if the principal revokes the power. An agent can also resign at any time.

Powers of attorney are essential instruments with which adults can help their parents live safer, more secure lives. To find out how you can benefit, speak to an estate planning lawyer at our firm.

See an experienced Orem lawyer about powers of attorney for your loved ones

Seniors should have legal safeguards as they age. An essential element of any estate plan is a power of attorney that allows adult children to act for their elders. To schedule a free consultation with a knowledgeable attorney, call Skabelund Wirig & Loos at 801-788-4447 or contact our office online. We are conveniently located at 1149 West Center Street in Orem, just off I-15.

 

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  • Orem Office
    1149 West Center Street
    Orem, Utah 84057
    Phone: 801-222-9700
    Fax: 801-224-9960
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