Indiana Power of Attorney Lawyers
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A power of a 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 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 as 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.
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.
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.
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 an Indiana power of attorney lawyer at Rice & Rice. Contact us online or call (219) 240-0450.
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