Lawyer Monthly - June 2022

WWW.LAWYER-MONTHLY.COM | JUN 2022 26 Powers of Attorney in Elder Law POA is granting too much authority, whereas the danger of a limited POA may be not granting enough. What are the key differences between a durable POA and a springing POA? A durable POA is in effect as soon as the principal signs the document and it continues to stay in effect even if the principal becomes incapacitated. A non-durable POA terminates upon the principal becoming incapacitated. A springing POA becomes effective upon a triggering event. The agent has no authority to act until the triggering event has occurred. The two most common triggering events we see are either a stated date or when the principal becomes incapacitated. If a springing POA is to be triggered only upon incapacity, it is essential for the POA to explicitly state how incapacity is determined. What are the key duties of an agent on a financial POA, and what decisions are beyond its reach? The agent is allowed to act on behalf of the principal on any matter allowed by state law. A well-drafted financial What is a power of attorney (POA) and why is it so important for an ageing population? A POA is a written document that authorises a designated person to make decisions about another person’s finances or health care. The person granting the power is known as the “principal”, and the person designated to act on behalf of the principal is the “agent”. Healthcare POAs are increasingly called “medical” or “advance” directives, whereas financial POAs are more frequently known as a “power of attorney” or “general durable power of attorney”. These documents are useful when the principal is either unable to or does not want to make their own decisions due to age, health or cognitive issues. What are the key differences between a general POA and a limited POA? A general financial POA allows the agent to take all actions allowed by state law. In theory it grants legal authority over all the principal’s finances. A limited financial POA (sometimes called a “special” POA) restricts the scope and/or time for the agent to what is specified in the document. The danger of the general Mike Bascom, Attorney and Founder Brad Bascom, Attorney Bascom Law, PC 2450 Atlanta Hwy, Suite 1302, Cumming, GA 30040-1277 Tel: +1 770-889-3911 E: E: ELDER LAW - MIKE AND BRAD BASCOM Powers of attorney, or POAs, are often key to ensuring financial and medical security for one’s family members later in life. In this article we hear from elder lawyers Mike and Brad Bascom, who answer commonly held questions about POAs in greater depth. What different kinds exist, which are more appropriate for particular clients, and how can one be drafted successfully? Bascom Law, PC, is a boutique estate planning and elder law firm that serves private clients in Georgia. They also handle probate and trust administration matters. Mike and Brad Bascom strive to empower their clients to make the most informed decisions about their futures and to keep their clients’ loved ones out of court when the client dies or becomes incapacitated

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