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POWERS OF ATTORNEY

Power of Attorney Lawyer & Advance Directive Attorney

A Power of Attorney (“POA”) enables an individual to act on behalf of another person in specific circumstances, such as to perform a business transaction or to act on someone’s behalf in the event of incapacity. The appointed individual can possess broad or limited authority to act on behalf of the principal, depending on the type of POA and its terms.

A power of attorney can be an invaluable tool in the event an individual becomes incapacitated due to injury, illness, or disability. With a proper POA, an agent can make medical and/or financial decisions to minimize any adverse ramifications to your finances or health. 

If you desire to proactively authorize decisions regarding medical care, financial matters, or property, we invite you to call our office to schedule a free consultation with experienced New Albany power of attorney lawyer Jim Plitz. As an Indiana estate planning attorney with over a decade of experience, Jim can explain your legal options and what estate planning tools may best suit your needs.

Are There Different Types of Powers of Attorney in Indiana?

Yes. There are a variety of different types of powers of attorney, including:

  • General Power of Attorney. A general power of attorney grants an individual broad authority to handle another person’s affairs.
  • Limited or Special Power of Attorney. An individual can limit decision-making authority to a limited period or task, such as selling a house.
  • Durable Power of Attorney. Durable powers of attorney typically remain effective if the person granting authorization becomes incapacitated.
  • Medical or Healthcare Power of Attorney (also referred to as a healthcare proxy). Healthcare powers of attorney authorize another individual to make decisions in the event of a life-threatening injury or illness.

Indiana Power of Attorney FAQs

The individual appointed by a POA is known as an agent, or attorney-in-fact, although it is not necessary for an agent to be a lawyer. 

An agent can handle a variety of different transactions, including (but not limited to):

  • Purchasing and selling property and assets
  • Managing financial accounts (e.g., bank accounts, bills, investments, etc.)
  • Filing tax returns
  • Negotiating and signing contracts
  • Applying for benefits

When an individual suffers a disabling injury or illness and loses his or her capacity to make pertinent health and welfare decisions, loved ones may be forced to pursue costly court appointments, known as guardianships and conservatorships. When appointed as a guardian or conservator in Indiana, an individual has the legal right to oversee almost all aspects of the life of another individual, including where they will live and how assets will be handled.

This appointment process can typically be bypassed through the execution of a healthcare power of attorney. An Indiana healthcare power of attorney allows an individual to appoint an individual who will be entitled to make critical decisions regarding their healthcare, welfare, and end-of-life choices should they become unable to communicate their own wishes.

A general power of attorney gives an agent the power to handle a broad array of financial tasks, such as selling assets, making gifts, investing, or transferring funds. A limited power of attorney only grants an agent the power to handle specific tasks. 

For example, if an individual would like to sell an out-of-state property but doesn’t want to travel, an agent can be appointed to handle the specific transaction and paperwork. Powers of attorney can also be limited to a period of time, such as one month. This allows for temporary matters to be addressed without granting permanent decision-making authority to an agent.

Absolutely. Durable powers of attorney are often used to proactively address incapacitation. This means that an individual can retain the ability to handle their own finances as long as they have the mental capacity to do so, and a designated agent’s powers are not triggered unless an individual loses the capacity to manage their own affairs. 

As a New Albany estate planning lawyer experienced in preparing all types of powers of attorneys, I can help you plan for unexpected medical emergencies, Alzheimer’s, and other declines in mental function to ensure your finances are properly managed. 

If You Are Interested In Creating A Power of Attorney In Indiana, Call Our Office Today to Schedule A Free Consultation

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Southern IN Estate Planning Lawyer James Plitz