Establishing Power of Attorney in Colorado
Estate Planning Lawyers in Colorado Springs
Power of Attorney is awarded to the specified “agent” or person who will take over decision making when a person becomes incapacitated, either due to a trauma, physical absence or slow onset of a condition such as dementia or Alzheimer’s. In Colorado, there are 4 types of Power of Attorney. These are determined according to what specific decision-making rights you want to award in the event you cannot make them yourself.
Main Types of Power of Attorney
The four main types of Power of Attorney are:
- Financial Power of Attorney (also called a General Power of Attorney) gives a person the power to make financial decisions or property decisions on your behalf.
- Medical Power of Attorney grants the ability to make medical decisions on your behalf.
- Durable Power of Attorney combines financial and medical powers of attorney, granting both decision-making processes to the agent.
- Limited Power of Attorney grants the ability to make only the decisions specified in the document.
Power of Attorney for a Child
Additionally, a Power of Attorney for a child is a document that names a specific person in charge if the parent becomes incapacitated or must leave for a predetermined time, such as being deployed. This document for child Power of Attorney is usually legally limited in duration, often for 6 months to a year unless the parent is deployed or incarcerated, at which point it can be extended.
What Documents are Needed for a Power of Attorney?
What is needed for a POA:
- Contact information for the appointed guardian (agent)
- Names and DOB for the child or incapacitated adult in the POA
- Dates of POA activation, or you can select to make it active if the parents or adult becomes incapacitated
- Parent contact information while they are away, additional guardian contact information
There are two activation types for Power of Attorney. One is considered a “springing” activation, effective once a person is deemed incapable of making decisions, such as becoming unconscious; while the other is a “standing” activation, effective once signed by the person creating it.
What is the Difference Between Power of Attorney & Financial Power of Attorney?
A power of attorney allows one person to give legal authority to another person to act on their behalf. While, a financial power of attorney authorizes an individual to make financial decisions only. It is typically used so a person can step in and pay your bills or handle other financial or real estate matters. It can be also be a designation for a financial professional acting on your behalf, or you may use it to designate a trusted friend or family member to handle matters if or when you cannot physically or mentally do so yourself.
Why Would You Need a POA?
A Power of Attorney (POA) is needed for several circumstances, in the event you will be unavailable or unable to make important decisions on your own. The most common circumstance is when a person suddenly becomes unable to take care of themselves physically or mentally. One special circumstance where a POA is beneficial is when a person is deployed overseas via military servitude. When families are left behind, it is important that someone can act on their behalf should they become incapacitated. Another reason a person might establish a POA is if they are doing a lot of travelling and will need someone to handle their affairs while out of the country.
Power of Attorney and Estate Planning
Estate planning is the process of determining where assets will be delivered or divided in the event of death, and how those left behind will be taken care of. A guardian takes care of a child’s wellbeing while a conservator oversees the financial affairs. According to Colorado law, the parents can choose to release a set amount from the trust in predetermined increments or in a lump sum at the age of 21. Setting up these important instructions is one of the crucial ways to protect your child’s rights.
How We Can Help
Choosing a Power of Attorney and creating a plan is one way to be prepared for an unforeseen tragedy, or when you know you’ll have to be absent for a period of time. At Gaddis, Herd, Craw & Adams, P.C., we understand how important it is to create a plan you are certain of. Let our team set up your Power of Attorney for you, so you can rest easy knowing your future is secure should the need arise.
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