Apr 2015

Does a Power of Attorney Have a Starting Date?

A power of attorney is a versatile legal document that can be used for a variety of purposes. Frequently, people include a power of attorney in their estate plan with the help of The Law Offices of Randy Smith. The concept of a power of attorney is straightforward. The person who creates it, known as the principal, gives another person (the agent) authority to act on the principal’s behalf.

The Law Offices of Randy Smith provide an answer.

It sounds simple, but powers of attorney can give an agent almost universal authority to act for the principal. This potentially broad power is the reason why it’s important for individuals to work with an experienced estate planning attorney, such as The Law Offices of Randy Smith, before signing any power of attorney. Your lawyer can tailor your power of attorney to perform exactly how – and when – you wish.

When drafting your power of attorney, one important issue to address is when you would like it to become effective. Your power of attorney can go into effect immediately, it can spring into action upon some triggering event, or it can be active for a limited time and for a limited purpose. (See the detailed explanation from The Law Offices of Randy Smith below.)

Immediate Power of Attorney

As the name suggests, an immediate power of attorney becomes effective immediately when it’s signed. The advantage of an immediate power of attorney is that the agent can begin acting on the principal’s behalf right away.

Springing Power of Attorney

A springing power of attorney only becomes effective upon the occurrence of a specific event, such as the principal becoming ill or incapacitated.

Limited Power of Attorney

A limited power of attorney gives an agent authority to perform a specific task, such as selling a home, making an investment, or acting as guardian for a minor child while the principal is away on vacation. The limited power of attorney ends when the specific task is complete.

Springfield, Missouri Estate Planning Law Firm

Powers of attorney are powerful documents that can be lifesavers in an estate plan. At the Law Offices of Randy L. Smith, LLC, we help people create estate planning documents that provide peace of mind. Call today at (417) 841-2775 to speak to an experienced estate planning lawyer about a power of attorney.

This website has been prepared by The Law Office of Randy L. Smith, LLC for informational purposes only and does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice. The information is not provided in the course of an attorney-client relationship and is not intended to substitute for legal advice from an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction.