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Powers of Attorney Lawyers in Granite Bay, California

Drafting a Comprehensive Estate Plan

At Herrig, Vogt & Hensley, LLP we provide clients with a full spectrum of estate planning solutions, including wills and trusts that direct the distribution of assets upon the death of the individual. We also prepare estate planning documents that are relevant during the life of the client, such as a power of attorney. Our estate planning lawyers can help you understand your options for ensuring that your wishes are carried out, should any future circumstances render you unable to communicate this information.

What Is a Power of Attorney?

A power of attorney is a legal instrument in which you, as the principal, appoint another person to serve as your attorney-in-fact. By granting this appointment, you give the other party the authority to act on your behalf in financial matters, such as the following:

  • Purchasing or selling real estate or other property

  • Managing your bank accounts

  • Paying your bills

  • Filing your taxes

  • Managing your investments

  • Applying for public assistance benefits

Powers of attorney are highly flexible in terms of how they can be drafted. As the principal, you have the power to determine all of the provisions included in it. You can choose to grant the attorney-in-fact nearly unlimited powers, or you may list only a few, specific powers your appointee can enact on your behalf. You can also choose to define the duration and scope of a power of attorney. You can make the power of attorney effective immediately, effective for a shorter amount of time such as while you are out of the country, or only effective upon your incapacity. In the context of estate planning, it is most common to use a durable power of attorney, which will come into effect in the event that you become incapacitated due to a serious illness or injury.

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By drafting a power of attorney, you can relieve your loved ones of the potential for the strife and stress that may come with trying to figure out who should assume control of your estate. You can avoid a conservatorship or guardianship proceeding that may cause uncertainty and further drain the assets of your estate and, furthermore, you can ensure that the person who is in charge during your incapacity is someone you trust, rather than leaving it up to the decision of the court.

Many of our clients also request that we create a healthcare proxy, which is a document that you can use to appoint an agent who will make decisions concerning the scope and nature of medical treatment that you will receive in the event of incapacity. 

Litigation Involving Powers of Attorney

In the event that the personal estate of a friend or family member is being managed by an attorney-in-fact, and you have reason to believe that something is amiss, we may be able to help you. If upon investigation, it appears that the attorney-in-fact is indeed violating the terms of the power of attorney or is guilty of some type of misconduct, it may be necessary to bring a petition to the probate court. The judge may take action to correct the situation, including possibly removing the attorney-in-fact from his or her fiduciary position.

Similarly, the attorney-in-fact may bring a petition to court if he or she is met with resistance in having the power of attorney recognized by those with whom he or she needs to do business.

Whether you are interested in drafting a power of attorney or if you need to resolve any legal issues related to a power of attorney, our estate planning attorneys can help.