Our Everett-based lawyers draft powers of attorney of various kinds, including durable powers of attorney for financial and healthcare decisions. Cost-saving technologies allow us to charge rates among the lowest in Snohomish County and neighboring areas, and our attorneys enjoy some of the strongest legal backgrounds in the Puget Sound.
If interested in a power of attorney, we encourage you to contact us at our toll-free number, 866-631-0028. We generally speak with potential clients free of charge on the phone for 5 – 15 minutes as part of our standard intake process, and every one of us is polite and knowledgeable in our respective practice areas. Find out why we truly are “A Better Firm for a Better World”.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What is a power of attorney? A power of attorney is a document granting someone else the authority to make decisions for you. In essence, the document makes someone your agent.
Are powers of attorney revocable? Yes, they are almost always revocable. Though it may be possible to draft an irrevocable one, our office has never seen this attempted, and arguably it is impossible. Every version we have drafted or read has been revocable. Revocability is assumed even if the document does not specifically address the issue.
What is an attorney-in-fact? An attorney-in-fact is the person who receives decision-making authority via a power of attorney. In essence, it is the person who becomes the agent.
What is a principal? In this context, the principal is the person whose decision-making authority has been granted to the attorney-in-fact.
If I am the principal, can I still make decisions too? Generally yes, the principal and the attorney-in-fact have decision-making authority once a power-of-attorney is in effect. An exception can occur when the principal lacks the mental capacity to make decisions; at that time, the attorney-in-fact may become the only person with decision-making ability.
What does ‘durable’ mean in the phrase ‘durable power of attorney’? ‘Durable’ means the attorney-in-fact retains decision-making authority even if the principal becomes incapacitated or otherwise loses the mental ability to make decisions. If not durable, the attorney-in-fact automatically loses decision-making authority when the principal can no longer make decisions.
How can the document be made ‘durable’? The document becomes ‘durable’ if it explicitly states the attorney-in-fact will retain decision-making authority even if the principal becomes incapacitated.
Why would I want a durable power of attorney? Durable versions have many purposes. But chiefly they provide for the principal’s care as he or she ages and his or her mental capacity diminishes. Written properly, the document usually makes an elderly guardianship unnecessary. This in turn saves money and reduces the likelihood of litigation between family members.
I only want to grant someone my decision-making authority when I become incapacitated, not before. Can a power of attorney accomplish that for me? Yes, many versions only take effect upon the principal’s verified incapacity. Usually one or more doctors – often the principal’s usual doctor – must be the ones who provide verification of incapacity.
What happens to a durable power of attorney when the principal dies? The document loses its effectiveness upon the principal’s death. However, the attorney-in-fact is often named in the principal’s will as personal representative, so he or she might retain some decision-making authority over the decedent’s estate and earthly remains.
Why would I want a non-durable power of attorney? Non-durable varieties are usually a means of overcoming geographic distances. For example, a principle might use a non-durable version to grant someone authority to sign a real estate deed while the principle travels overseas.