Q. What is a power of attorney?

A power of attorney is a legal document that authorizes someone to act on your behalf in a specified matter or other legal and financial matters. This person is known as the agent or attorney-in-fact.

Q. What is a durable power of attorney?

A durable power of attorney allows the attorney-in-fact to make decisions for you even if you become incapacitated. All power of attorney documents created by Utah Legal Express are durable.

Q. What is the difference between a power of attorney and a health care directive?

A power of attorney authorizes someone to act on your behalf in a specified matter, generally regarding financial and legal decisions when you are unable or incapacitated. A health care directive, which appoints a Health Care Agent, authorizes someone to make decisions for you regarding your healthcare if you are incapacitated or unable to make decisions for yourself.

Q. What is an agent?

The agent is the person you authorize to make decisions for you. This person is also known as the attorney-in-fact.

Q. Who can I appoint as my agent?

You can appoint any competent adult to be your attorney-in-fact. Typically, a good agent would be someone you trust and who is dependable, such as a family member, close friend, or business partner. Your agent does not have to be a lawyer.

Q. Can I appoint multiple agents?

Yes. You can appoint multiple agents. If two or more agents are appointed, you will have to decide if they must act together when making decisions on your behalf or if they can each act separately.

Q. Can I revoke my power of attorney?

Yes. You can revoke your power of attorney anytime as long as you are mentally competent.

Q. When should I use a power of attorney?

You can use a power of attorney to authorize someone to act on your behalf if you are unavailable, authorize someone to act on your behalf if you are legally incompetent, or to authorize someone to act on your behalf if you are disabled or incapacitated.

Q. Do I need a power of attorney if I create a living trust?

Yes. A power of attorney will cover things not included in the trust or intentionally left out of the trust.

Q. What happens if the agent is abusing the power of attorney?

If you feel your agent is abusing the power of attorney, you can revoke the power of attorney at anytime as long as you are mentally competent.

Q. Can my agent change my will?

No. Your agent cannot make changes to your will, even if you give him authority to do so.

Q. What if I don’t have a power of attorney?

If you become incapacitated and unable to make decisions for yourself or manage your own finances, you will need someone who can step in and handle your affairs. Without a power of attorney, your loved ones will have to go through court proceedings to appoint someone to do so.