Powers of Attorney
We Draft Powers of Attorney with Your Best Interests in Mind
Helping you prepare for medical, financial and other assistance in difficult situations by taking legal steps today
Powers of attorney are flexible planning documents that many adults would benefit from having in place. They are used to protect people and their property in the event they become unable — mentally, physically or emotionally — to make decisions. A power of attorney grants a designated individual the ability to make decisions in specified areas on behalf of the grantor if the grantor becomes incapacitated or incompetent. A serious medical or mental condition may render you unable to communicate or make sound judgments that affect your well-being. A power of attorney prepares for this and other possibilities by granting your agent the ability to decide for you, in accordance with the terms of your appointment. If you do not have a power of attorney in place, your spouse or a close family member must go to court and file papers to be appointed as your legal guardian. The legal guardianship process can be time-consuming and expensive. Powers of attorney can avoid this. At Estate & Elder Law Services, we guide clients through their options with respect to powers of attorney and draft the necessary forms for signature. Our deep experience working with elder clients provides us with a keen understanding of issues that impact individuals who need assistance in decision-making, regardless of their age.
Powers of attorney ensure that you get help from a trusted person when you are most vulnerable
A power of attorney can be narrowly crafted to limit the authority of the agent to a particular area of the principal’s life, or to a specific set of decisions. Or it can be drafted more broadly and provide a basis for the agent to act in many areas. Powers of attorney are important documents to consider as part of estate planning efforts or for people concerned about key decisions in the event they become incompetent or incapacitated. The most common powers of attorney include:
- Durable power of attorney: A durable power of attorney in Delaware addresses financial matters and is durable because it remains valid after the principal becomes incapacitated. A durable power of attorney can be made effective immediately after the principal signs, or it may become effective only if and when the principal becomes disabled or incapacitated. The durable power of attorney in Delaware must comply with the requirements of state law.
- Financial power of attorney: A financial power of attorney may be durable or nondurable. If nondurable, it is no longer effective should you become incapacitated. A financial power of attorney can address real estate, business operation, stocks and bonds, personal property, insurance, bank accounts, and other matters.
- Healthcare power of attorney: The need for key decisions to be made related to medical treatment, care, and surgical and other procedures when you are unable to do so highlights the importance of having a medical power of attorney in place.
- Advance healthcare directive: Delaware residents may execute an advance healthcare directive with their estate planning attorneys. An advance healthcare directive, also known as a living will, is a healthcare power of attorney that addresses whether to prolong your life in the event of a terminal condition or permanent unconscious state and other healthcare decisions you would normally make for yourself if not incompetent or incapacitated.