Best Alameda Power of Attorney Lawyers
Welcome to JS Abram Law, a leading California power of attorney lawyer who can arrange the process of assigning you a power of attorney.
As you age, you need to think about how your health may affect your ability to make financial, personal, and medical decisions. A common way to ensure that someone you trust helps you when you become ill is to use a power of attorney. A power attorney is a legal document that lets you appoint somewhere to handle some of your affairs. The appointment may be immediate or it may be delayed depending on the type of power of attorney you create and your health.
You should know that if you don’t prepare a power of attorney, then if tragedy strikes and you’re injured, develop dementia, or have a heart attack – a relative will need to apply to be your conservator. The appointment process takes time and money. If no relative steps forward, then the state of California acts on your behalf.
Alameda powers of attorney
At JS Abrams Law, our elder care attorneys advise seniors on a range of issues including powers of attorney. There are three basic types of powers of attorney we use depending on your concerns:
- A financial power of attorney appoints a person or entity to handle financial transactions such as depositing checks and paying your expenses.
- A personal power of attorney appoints someone you trust to make daily living decisions on your behalf
- A medical power of attorney gives the person you appoint the power to make many medical decisions for you.
California law uses the terms:
- Principal to describe the person (you) who requests the power of attorney
- Attorney-in-fact to describe the person you choose to conduct some of your affairs
The statutes authorize powers of attorneys that are financial and personal powers of attorney:
- Property matters (finances). You choose an attorney-in-fact who has the power/authority to make decisions about your home and personal property. Principals don’t normally describe the specific items of property in the power of attorney form. A property/financial power of attorney gives the attorney-in-fact the power to pay your mortgage, make deposits, pay real estate taxes, pay your bills, and even sell your home if necessary. You can give the person you select broad powers or limit what they can do.
- Personal care powers of attorney. You may need to give someone the authority to handle your daily affairs such as deciding what meals you eat, what social activities you engage in, how you travel, and whether you need to hire any household help.
Your Alameda power of attorney will ensure that you meet the basic power of attorney requirements such as:
- Dating the power of attorney
- Signing the power of attorney in front of a notary or witnesses.
A power of attorney can be a lawyer. Most people choose a spouse, adult child, another relative, or a friend.
What does a durable power of attorney mean?
A durable power of attorney is a type of power of attorney that includes one of the following statements according to the California statute:
- “This power of attorney shall not be affected by subsequent incapacity of the principal.”
- “This power of attorney shall become effective upon the incapacity of the principal.”
- Similar words showing the intent of the principal that the authority conferred shall be exercisable notwithstanding the principal’s subsequent incapacity.”
What’s the difference between a standard power of attorney and a durable power of attorney in Alameda?
A standard power of attorney is used if you are mentally competent – but you are ill because of a disease or an accident. A standard power of attorney is normally effective as soon as you sign it.
A durable power of attorney becomes effective at a later date- when you become physically ill or mentally incapacitated. Elder Alameda citizens often prepare a durable power of attorney – in anticipation that health disorders such as dementia, cancer, or other diseases may prevent the senior from handling their financial, personal, or medical affairs.
When does a power of attorney begin and when does it end?
Our Almeda power of attorney lawyers explain all aspects of powers of attorney including the time period when they’re effective. Basically,
- If you want the power of attorney to start now – you use a standard power of attorney.
- If you want the power of attorney to start when you become ill, you prepare a durable power of attorney
A standard power of attorney ends when you become incapacitated. Then you need to use your durable power of attorney. A standard power of attorney can also terminate if you revoke it – while you’re mentally competent.
Both types of powers of attorney end:
- When you die
- If your spouse is your attorney-in-fact and you divorce him/her
- If the attorney-in-fact can’t act because of death or their own disability
A few additional power of attorney factors your Alameda estate lawyer will explain
- Your attorney-in-fact has the right to be paid a reasonable fee for their services.
- The attorney-in-fact must act in your best interest.
- A financial attorney-in-fact should keep your finances separate from their finances.
There may be alternatives. For example, some of the objectives you want, such as someone to handle your financial affairs, can be handled through a trust.
What is a medical power of attorney?
A medical attorney is effective when you sign it provided you’re mentally competent. Otherwise, you need a durable power of attorney. Your spouse can make medical decisions for you if you don’t have a power of attorney.
Some of the reasons experienced Alameda attorneys recommend you have a medical power of attorney are:
- To obtain medical information. Your attorney-in-fact can obtain your medical records from the doctors and health providers who care for you – if you also name your chosen person in your HIPAA forms.
- To make medical decisions on your behalf. If you are physically ill or mentally incapable, the person who holds your medical power of attorney can decide which physicians you see, what medical tests you take (based on your doctor’s recommendations), whether you should have surgeries, and what prescribed medications you take. The selected person should help you stay healthy as best they can. In California, some medical decisions may be limited even if you have medical power of attorney.
The Mayo Clinic recommends that that person who is your medical attorney-in-fact should:
- Not be one of your treating doctors or health providers
- Qualify as a medical agent
- Be ready to make tough medical decisions include end-of-life decisions
- Advocate for you
Physician Order for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST) forms for end-of-life medical conditions in Alameda
In California, your physicians must respect your end-of-life decisions provided there is a signed POLST or a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) form. The POLST form is used separately or in conjunction with the DNR form. The POLST form informs emergency medical providers whether or not to use cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on your behalf.
The POLST form must also be signed by a physician or a nurse practitioner/physician assistance supervised by a physician – and by you or the person appointed in your medical power of attorney.
The POLST form differs from a DNR form in that a POLST form does allow for life-sustaining measures such as antibiotics, feeding tubes, intubation, and dialysis.
Your Alameda power of attorney lawyer will explain other end-of-life legal documents such as health care directives and livings wills.
At JS Abrams Law, our Alameda power of attorney lawyers explain when, why, and how to use financial, personal, and medical powers of attorney. To discuss all your elder care and elder planning issues, call us at 818-330-4515 or use our contact form to schedule an appointment.