Indiana Power of Attorney Lawyers

Helping Clients With Power of Attorney Matters Since 1972

Navigating the legal complexities surrounding power of attorney can be daunting. At Rice & Rice, our Indiana power of attorney lawyers are here to guide you through the process, ensuring that your wishes are clearly defined and legally binding. Understanding the importance and benefits of establishing a power of attorney is essential for protecting your interests and those of your loved ones.

Contact our Indiana power of attorney lawyer online or by calling (219) 240-0450 today!

What is Power of Attorney?

A power of attorney refers to a document, based on state laws, that grants a person with authority to oversee specific tasks on behalf of the person assigning the authority.

In general, the powers are divided into two overarching categories:

  • Health-related and
  • Other tasks, many revolving around financial and property duties.

About Health-Related Powers of Attorney

In Indiana, the State divides health-related appointments into a Healthcare Power of Attorney and a Healthcare Representative. The two positions carry different responsibilities, but because most people want the same person in both positions, most attorneys create a single document appointing a person or series of people in both positions. The person granting authority (called the “principal”) to another – can set some limits.

One big concern many people express when setting up their healthcare powers is whether they maintain their own decision-making powers. The answer is “Yes.” The transfer of health decision-making happens when you are no longer able to communicate with doctors.

Other Types of Power of Attorney

Beyond healthcare decisions, a Power of Attorney may be created for other tasks involving finances and property. You, as the principal, may appoint a person to help you with banking, real estate, and other transactions. 

Powers can be granted very broadly or narrowly within these types of power of attorney:

  • General Power of Attorney
  • General Durable Power of Attorney

An example of narrow powers are limiting the person to only assisting with banking transactions. Some people use the General Durable Power of Attorney as a broad reaching appointment of powers to a person who is charged with using those powers in the best interest of the principal.

These powers are absolute and active immediately. In one regard, appointing a Power of Attorney is a safer way to have a person help with banking than putting the person’s name on the account as a joint owner. However, it is important to understand that the person with Power of Attorney has the legal authority do what they are appointed to do without any additional approval.

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About Springing Durable Power of Attorney

A person needs to be legally competent to execute a Power of Attorney. A challenge is that it may not be needed until a person is incompetent. One strategy that is used to address this is the use of a Springing Durable Power of Attorney. The “durable” status is an indicator that the Power of Attorney is valid even if the person is declared incapacitated. The “springing” component includes language that holds the executed document in an inactive state until a trigger event occurs at which point it becomes active. An example of a triggering event is the principal being declared incapacitated. In that example, it is important to define the way(s) the person can be declared incapacitated.

Powers of Attorney are an important part of planning. What you need them to do, who you want to appoint, and how Powers of Attorney blend into your plan are specific to you. For experienced guidance, reach out to our Indiana power of attorney lawyers at (219) 240-0450.

How to Get Power of Attorney in Indiana

In order to get power of attorney in Indiana, you will need the following:

  • A “principal” who is giving their powers to another person
  • An “agent” who will receive the powers. “Successor” agents may also be named in the event that the first agent cannot act.
  • An Indiana Power of Attorney Form
  • A signature from the principal or a person who is directed by the principal and is in the principal’s conscious presence to sign the principal’s name on the Indiana Power of Attorney Form.
  • Signatures of acknowledgment from 2 witnesses or a notary public -- continue reading to learn more.

Who Can Be Named an Agent for the Power of Attorney?

Any adult may be chosen to serve as your agent. Be sure to take considerations before making a choice, such as how trustworthy the person is, how far they live, how assertive they are, and if they are good at communicating.

The state of Indiana allows for co-agents to be appointed as well -- they are authorized to act along with your primary agent, however, it is typically advisable to only choose one agent to avoid any potential conflicts. Choosing a “successor” agent or 1 - 2 alternative backups to your agent is advisable so that you have a backup plan in case they become unavailable.

Have questions about an agent you wish to name? Do not hesitate to reach out to our skilled power of attorney lawyers in Indiana at Rice & Rice.

Common Signatures Required in Power of Attorney

Below are types of powers of attorney that the principal must sign before a notary public or two witnesses:

  • Durable (Financial) Power of Attorney
  • General (Financial) Power of Attorney
  • Limited Power of Attorney

For a Medical Power of Attorney (Advanced Healthcare Directive), the principal must sign before one witness.

What are the Benefits of Power of Attorney?

  • Ensuring Continuity in Decision-Making: One of the primary benefits of establishing a power of attorney is ensuring that someone you trust can make decisions on your behalf if you cannot do so. This can prevent delays and complications in managing your affairs, as your agent can step in immediately to handle urgent matters.
  • Protecting Your Financial Interests: A POA can protect your financial interests critically. Your agent can manage your assets, pay bills, handle investments, and meet your financial obligations. This is particularly important for elderly individuals or those with health conditions that might impair their ability to manage their finances.
  • Healthcare Decisions: With a healthcare power of attorney, you can ensure that your medical preferences are well respected, even if you are unable to communicate them. Your appointed agent will have the authority to make healthcare decisions that align with your values and wishes, providing peace of mind for both you and your loved ones.
  • Avoiding Court Interventions: Without a power of attorney, your family may need to seek a court-appointed guardian to address your affairs if you become incapacitated. This process can be very time-consuming, costly, and stressful. A POA permits you to choose your agent in advance, thereby avoiding the need for court intervention.
  • Flexibility and Customization: A power of attorney can be tailored to fit your specific needs. You can grant as much or as little authority as you wish and specify when the POA goes into effect. This flexibility allows you to create a document perfectly matching your personal and financial circumstances.
  • Ease of Management: Having a POA in place simplifies the management of your affairs. Your agent can act on your behalf in various situations, from handling routine financial transactions to making critical medical decisions. This ensures that your affairs are handled efficiently and according to your preferences.

Call (219) 240-0450 For an Indiana Power of Attorney Lawyer

If you want to learn more about Powers of Attorney and other important things you may need, schedule a free consultation with our power of attorney lawyers in Indiana. This will give us a chance to talk, answer your questions, and put together a plan to meet your needs. At Rice & Rice we serve clients across Indiana from our offices in Valparaiso, Lafayette, and Granger.

Get a free consultation with our Indiana power of attorney lawyer at Rice & Rice. Contact us online or call (219) 240-0450.

Why Choose Rice & Rice Attorneys

What sets Us Apart
  • Focused On Elder Law

    At Rice & Rice Attorneys, our primary focus is on caring for your family. Estate Planning, Probate, and Elder Law are all we do, and we offer reasonable rates.

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    Our firm is based on the principles of our faith and the importance of family.

  • 50 Years of Experience

    Since 1972, Rice & Rice Attorneys have been serving this area and we are deeply rooted in our community.

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