Powers of attorney are key tools for incapacity and estate planning, granting another individual the legal authority to make certain important decisions for you when you are not able to make them for yourself. While powers of attorney can focus on medical or financial decisions, they can also be as general, specific, limited, or expansive as you want.
No matter what type of powers of attorney best fit your circumstances, these devices can provide priceless peace of mind to you and your loved ones. Here’s why and how.
Also referred to as “advanced care directives” or “powers of attorney for health care,” medical powers of attorney appoint an agent (or an “attorney-in-fact”) to make decisions regarding health care. This can include decisions regarding medical interventions and treatments, nursing home care, and resuscitation orders.
Although medical powers of attorney can take effect whenever you see fit, many choose to set these devices in action if or when certain conditions—like terminal illness, coma, or dementia—are present. Depending on the power of attorney documents, the agent may also be granted the authority to handle related needs, like (but not limited to):
Accessing medical records in order to make more informed decisions
Discussing medical issues with the treating physicians
Completing admissions forms and insurance documents
Also known as a “general power of attorney,” a financial power of attorney appoints an agent to manage your financial affairs and decisions when you are unable to do so. These decisions can pertain to issues like (but not limited to):
Real estate holdings
Taxes and other financial liabilities
Consequently, agents for financial powers of attorney typically have the authority to do things like (but not limited to):
Conduct financial transactions
Pay the bills, taxes, and medical expenses
Manage the principal’s investments and finances
Make necessary purchases
Sell off assets
Access and manage the principal’s financial accounts
Collect income and benefits, including military and retirement benefits
Operate the principal’s business(es)
Without powers of attorney in place, important decisions about your health care and/or finances can be left up to Colorado law and the courts. That can mean that your wishes do not get carried out and that some of the most critical choices about your life end up in the hands of strangers. It can also mean long court battles and more stress for your loved ones.
The Colorado Bar Association has some sample power of attorney forms here, showing how these devices typically look on paper and some of the specific issues to consider when it’s time to establish (or update) financial and/or medical powers of attorney. For experienced help creating or serving as a power of attorney in Colorado, contact a 5-star Denver estate lawyer at Evans Case, LLP.
Whether it’s time to update your estate plan or you’re just considering powers of attorney for the first time, you can turn to a Denver estate planning lawyer at Evans Case, LLP for client-focused counsel and exceptional service. With more than a century of combined experience, our team is highly skilled at guiding clients through every phase of estate planning and administration.
Call (303) 757-8300 or contact us online for a free 30-minute consultation and important answers about Colorado powers of attorney.
As a full-service Denver estate planning and probate law firm, Evans Case is home to trusted attorneys who have deep knowledge of the law and the most effective strategies for helping our clients achieve their objectives. Let us tell you more about how we can help you with powers of attorney and estate planning in a no-cost, no-obligation consultation.
Evans Case is a full-service Denver Law Firm. With more than 110 years of collective experience we are relentless and compassionate advocates for our clients. The deep legal experience and wisdom of our senior attorneys combined with fresh thinking of younger associates ensure the best possible results in each case. Our attorneys understand that the best outcomes are built on thorough understanding, compassion, and respect.