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WHAT IS A POWER OF ATTORNEY (POA)?

A Power of Attorney (POA) is a legal document that allows you to name someone else to take care of business affairs for you. It can be very helpful if you are sick, out of town or not available to take care of business on your own. You will likely need a POA at some point. Because, as you get older the chances of becoming sick and incapacitated for long periods of time increase. During these times you will need someone to have a POA to take care of business for you.

You can still take care of your own business affairs after you execute a POA. You do not give up authority to take care of your own business. You can void a POA at any time you are competent.

WHAT IF I’M MARRIED?

Even if you are married, there are some things a spouse cannot do for you without aPOA, such as sell real estate.

WHEN DO I NEED ONE?

You need a POA as soon as possible. It is important to execute a POA before you become sick and incapacitated. If you become incapacitated, because of medications or a disease like Alzheimer’s, it is too late to sign a POA. Because, then you would lack the mental capacity to execute a POA. Then, your family and friends would need to go to court to have someone appointed your guardian or conservator to take care of your business affairs. The court proceeding could be lengthy and delay taking care of business that needs immediate attention.

POA’s can be very simple for a single business transaction, such as the sale or purchase of real estate. They can also be very broad, and allow you someone to take care of most of your business affairs. A broad POA can be like handing the keys to your car or your house to someone. Because you can grant them the authority to sell property like that in the POA. POA’s can also expire in a short period of time, or last your entire lifetime, even if you are disabled and declared incompetent.

WHO SHOULD I NAME ON MY POA?

You only want to name someone to take care of your business that you trust with that authority, like a spouse or close relative. We call that person the attorney-in-fact.

WHAT IF I ALREADY HAVE A WILL?

It is important to remember they also expire when you pass away, and a will is needed to take care of your estate after your death. POA’s should be considered as part of everyone’s estate plan. We include a simple POA in the cost of our simple will package. Feel free to call us if you have more questions about them or would like to have us prepare one for you.http://www.scheynostlaw.com/practice/wills/

WHAT ELSE DO I NEED TO KNOW?

In Kentucky, for medical treatment, you need a separate Living Will Directive. That allows you to designate someone to make medical decisions for you. It also stops at your death, and does not deal with business affairs. In Kentucky, generally POA’s are only required to be filed in the County Clerk’s office to show the chain of title in the transfer of real estate in which a power of attorney was used. But, some banks like the comfort of having them filed in the Clerk’s office. Also, filing a POA in the Clerk’s office gives a permanent record for it in case it gets lost or misplaced.

Power of Attorney Concept – paperwork representing a Power of Attorney, with a magnifying glass over, highlighting Power of Attorney.