Mar 2015

Don’t Make These Power of Attorney Mistakes

Powers of attorney are among the most common estate planning documents and can be extremely effective when properly prepared. As with any legal document, it’s important to work with an experienced attorney who can give you solid legal advice to ensure your power of attorney is accurate and free of errors.

Get legal advice on these estate planning documents.

Some people try to take shortcuts by using online forms or DIY legal websites to create a power of attorney. What they don’t realize is that even a single mistake can result in excessive cost and a result they never intended.

With that in mind, you can trust the experienced lawyers at The Law Offices of Randy Smith, LLC. Here are four power of attorney mistakes to avoid:

Giving Too Much Power

There are several different kinds of powers of attorney. Some people create a general power of attorney when they really intend to make a limited power of attorney. A general power of attorney gives an agent broad authority that can include the power to make business decisions, legal choices, and financial decisions.

Lack of Specificity

Any lawyer who gives solid legal advice will tell you that your power of attorney should be very specific about what your agent is authorized to do and which decisions he or she is empowered to make on your behalf.

Missing an Alternate Agent

The person you name as agent may be unable to fulfill his or her obligations for any number of reasons. Without a person ready to step into your agent’s shoes should your first agent be unable or unwilling to serve, your power of attorney is ineffective.

It’s Not Durable

In Missouri, a power of attorney terminates immediately when the principal (the person who created it) dies or becomes incapacitated. To make the power of attorney continue beyond the principal’s incapacity or disability, the power of attorney must contain very specific language, including the words “this is a durable power of attorney…”

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 provide experienced legal advice and aid to 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 Offices 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.