Financial Power of Attorney Lawyer Serving Broomfield, Colorado
Who will act on your behalf if you are unable to do business owing to mental or physical impairment, such as Alzheimer’s, a stroke, or another medical condition? At the Law Office of Clark Daniel Dray, we will assist you in establishing a Durable Financial POA (Power of Attorney) to safeguard your best interests and finances.
Without a Durable Financial POA, the court steps in, and in Colorado, your loved ones will have to seek a conservatorship in which one of them is appointed to make financial decisions on your behalf. Once the court becomes engaged, though, it will often remain involved until you recover or pass away. Instead of your family, the court will choose how your assets are utilized for your care.
A Durable Financial POA permits you to appoint someone to manage your finances in the event of incapacity. Numerous financial institutions will not recognize a non-durable Financial Power of Attorney if it is not on their form. Even if your form is accepted, it may be necessary for our professional Broomfield financial power of attorney lawyer to intervene to compel the institution to accept it.
With the assistance of Colorado financial power of attorney lawyer at the Law Office of Clark Daniel Dray and a Durable Financial POA, you will avoid your loved ones the expense and inconvenience of obtaining a conservatorship via the court system. You will have the security that someone you trust is working on your behalf.
Why Do You Need a Financial Power of Attorney Lawyer in Colorado?
When it comes to estate planning, several different things need to be taken into consideration. One important decision that needs to be made is whether or not to hire a financial power of attorney lawyer. Here are some of the benefits of hiring our skilled financial power of attorney lawyer for legal advice.
- We can help you to create a comprehensive estate plan.
- We can help you to understand the various options available to you when it comes to estate planning.
- We can help you to choose the right options for your unique situation.
- We can help you to avoid making common estate planning mistakes.
- We can help you to ensure that your wishes are carried out.
- We can help you to protect your assets from potential creditors.
- We can help you to plan for your family’s future.
- We can help you to deal with the probate process.
- We can help you to resolve any disputes that may arise after your death.
The Power of Attorney Laws in Colorado
You can create a power of attorney if you want someone to be authorized to deposit your checks at your bank, pay your taxes, or even sell or mortgage your property. A POA is a basic agreement that confers certain powers to someone you trust — called an “agent” in Colorado (and an “attorney-in-fact” in some states) — to act on your behalf in a variety of situations.
What is the Financial Power of Attorney in Colorado?
A financial power of attorney in Colorado, also known as a general power of attorney, grants your agent the authority to make financial decisions on your behalf. The capacity to pay bills, cash checks, access your bank accounts, and make other financial decisions that you would ordinarily do regularly is included within the typical decisions.
The scope of an agent’s abilities is restricted to those specified in a written document. A lawyer knowledgeable in power of attorney can assist you to determine what authority you should delegate to your agents and how this may affect you. In Colorado, unless a power of attorney specifies otherwise, it is durable. A durable power of attorney allows the agent to make decisions on your behalf even if you are unable to do so.
If you become disabled, the agent you choose in advance can instantly assume control of your finances. The absence of a power of attorney may necessitate an expensive conservatorship or guardianship action, which may be avoided by having a valid power of attorney.
Consult our skilled Broomfield financial power of attorney lawyer before drafting your power of attorney. If you intend to add “hot powers,” which include disclaimers, altering beneficiary names, making donations needing special approval, and other powers, it is imperative that you understand the repercussions and how to give the power effectively.
What Are the Requirements of a Legal Financial POA in Colorado?
For your power of attorney to be legal in Colorado, it must adhere to specific requirements.
Psychological Capacity for Creating a Power of Attorney
The maker of a power of attorney must be mentally competent. Although the exact limits of this mental capacity requirement are susceptible to interpretation by Colorado courts, and there are few cases on the issue, a person executing a POA must have “contractual capacity” – the ability to enter into contracts and conduct business. Consult our skilled financial power of attorney lawyer if you are assisting someone creating a POA and you are unsure if they have the requisite mental capacity.
While Colorado technically does not need you to get your power of attorney notarized, it is strongly advised. Under Colorado law, when you sign your POA in the presence of a notary public, your signature is believed to be authentic, thus strengthening the validity of your POA. In addition, many financial institutions will not accept a POA unless it has been notarized, even if state law does not demand it.
What Are the Steps for Making a Financial Power of Attorney in Colorado?
Draft the POA With the Use of a Statutory Form, Software, or Attorney
You can create a POA in Colorado by filling out a blank statutory form (a document drafted by the state legislature). For a more user-friendly process, you may utilize software that leads you through a series of questions to generate a POA that is legal in your state and matches your individual needs.
You may also retain our Broomfield financial power of attorney lawyer to draft your POA. In addition to a will or living trust, we will incorporate durable POAs in a comprehensive estate plan.
Sign the Power of Attorney in Front of a Notary Public
As indicated previously, the POA must be notarized in Colorado.
Keep the Original POA in a Safe Location
Once you have finished the POA, place the original in a secure location that is easily accessible to your loved ones and inform them of its location. It won’t be useful if it’s locked up in an inaccessible safe. If you become disabled, your agent may require the original power of attorney to operate on your behalf.
Provide Your Agent or Attorney-in-Fact With a Copy
You should also provide your agent with a copy of the power of attorney so that your agent is familiar with its terms.
Submit a Copy to the Recording Office
If you initiated “real property” and granted your agent the authority to conduct real estate transactions, you need additionally file a copy of your POA at the land records office (called the clerk and recorder’s office in Colorado) in the county where you own real estate. This will allow the clerk and recorder’s office to acknowledge your agent’s authority should he or she ever need to sell, mortgage, or transfer property on your behalf.
Consider Providing Financial Institutions With a Copy
You may also provide copies of your durable financial POA to banks and other entities with which your agent may interact in the future. If your agent needs to use the POA in the future, this step may alleviate some difficulties. Sometimes, banks might be picky about accepting POAs.
Who Can Be Appointed in Colorado as an Agent or Attorney-in-Fact?
Legally, you may choose any mature adult to serve as your agent. However, you must take into account some practical issues, such as the individual’s reliability and location.
Colorado permits you to appoint co-agents who are permitted to act simultaneously, although it is often prudent to appoint only one agent to avoid conflicts. However, it is usually a good idea to choose a “successor” agent, a substitute who will become your agent if your initial choice is unavailable for whatever reason.
What Constitutes a Successor Agent?
A successor agent is an individual designated to act as your agent if your initial choice cannot due to death, disability, resignation, or refusal to assume the position of agent, i.e. the backup. If a specified agent is unable or unwilling to serve as an agent, the agency is revoked and the next person in line, unless the document specifies otherwise, becomes the agent.
No one may assume the role of an agent under a power of attorney unless the principal specifies a successor agent (or agents) in the instrument, or unless the principle permits the agent to select a successor agent. If neither is feasible and the principal has grown incompetent, it may be necessary to petition the court to appoint a guardian and/or conservator.
Consequently, it is generally advisable to include at least one successor agent in your power of attorney.
What Happens When a Principal Appoints Several Agents?
A principal may designate many agents, however, this is normally not advised. The presence of several agents as decision-makers might lead to a situation in which the agents disagree on a certain course of action. When the agents disagree, a court may be required to decide the conflict. It is often preferable to nominate a single individual as the sole decision maker or to provide a method for breaking ties in the agreement.
Nevertheless, if numerous agents are designated, the principal can either let them work independently or force them to act in concert, depending on the language of a power of attorney. Multiple agents should interact often to ensure that their activities are consistent in either scenario.
What Separates an Agent From an Executor?
An agent is the one designated under your Durable Financial Power of Attorney (DFPOA) to manage your finances and make medical decisions. The executor of your will is the individual you select to administer your estate’s affairs, including the distribution of your assets after your death. Your agent’s advance directive under your DFPOA terminates upon your demise.
In contrast, your executor’s responsibility begins after your death. The agent and executor might be the same individual. Simply ensure that you have completed the appropriate legal documents for each meeting.
Does a Power of Attorney Require a Notarization or Witness?
The law of Colorado does not mandate that a power of attorney be witnessed or notarized.
“A power of attorney must be signed by the principal or in the principal’s conscious presence by another person authorized by the principal to sign the principal’s name. If the principal recognizes the signature before a notary public or other official allowed by law to take acknowledgments, the signature on a power of attorney is deemed to be authentic.”
Despite the legislation, it is recommended that the document be signed, notarized, and witnessed by two individuals. Why? If the power of attorney is notarized, the signature is presumptively authentic.
Why Is It Advisable to Get a Power of Attorney Witnessed and Notarized?
There are several situations in which having a power of attorney is advantageous. For instance, if a power of attorney is to be utilized during a real estate transaction, verifying the authenticity of the POA will be beneficial, as notarization is necessary if the agent records the transaction.
Additionally, state rules on powers of attorney vary. In some places, a power of attorney must be seen before it may be used. If you anticipate executing a power of attorney out of state, it is prudent to have it signed, notarized, and witnessed in advance.
Lastly, many financial institutions are hesitant to accept non-notarized powers of attorney, and there is no punishment if the bank rejects the POA. If you anticipate that your agent will perform financial transactions on your behalf, you should consider notarizing the document.
When Will Your Durable Financial Power of Attorney Take Effect?
A durable financial power of attorney (DFPOA) goes into place as soon as you become incompetent. This might be the case if you:
- Are you under general anesthesia
- Stroke or another sickness that renders you unable to communicate
- An accident that leaves you in a coma or state of unconsciousness
- Alzheimer’s disease or any kind of dementia that impairs your capacity to make logical choices
What Are the Benefits of Having a Durable Financial Power of Attorney?
As with other estate planning documents, it is generally advisable to have a power of attorney in place before needing it. If you become too ill or disabled to manage your personal affairs, your loved ones may need to make some choices on your behalf.
If you do not have a DFPOA, the court will appoint an administrator, which may be costly and time-consuming. And the person appointed by the court may differ from the person you would have picked had you executed a financial POA. By selecting a trustworthy individual to serve as your financial agent before you need one, you can guarantee that your funds and property are managed following your intentions.
After being diagnosed with a degenerative condition, you may also elect to construct a POA to address concerns. Eventually, Alzheimer’s, cancer, ALS, and Huntington’s disease will likely make it difficult for you to manage your personal affairs. You may choose to acquire a financial power of attorney while you are still in good health following a diagnosis.
What Powers You Can Grant to Your Agent in a DFPOA?
Most people utilize their DFPOA to give their agents a wide financial and property management authority. Ultimately, you decide how much control your agent has over your personal affairs. Among other things, you can authorize your agent to:
- Utilize your assets to cover your family’s daily costs
- Pay your medical expenses
- Make deposits or withdrawals at the bank
- Tax preparation and filing on your behalf
- Keep your business(es) operating
- Manage your real estate holdings (including your residence)
- Employ legal counsel to represent you in court
- Invest in the equity and bond markets
- Review your insurance coverage and retirement savings
What Are the Limitations on the Way Your Agent Can Use the Powers You’ve Granted Them?
Your agent is bound by law to represent your best interests. Among other requirements, your DFPOA agent must:
- Manage your property and finances with integrity and decency.
- Avoid situations where their personal interests and yours might conflict.
- Maintain a record of the transactions they conduct on your behalf.
Despite these regulations and obligations, your agent will have considerable influence over many aspects of your life. When selecting an agent, it is essential to find someone you can trust to operate in your best interests.
What If Your Appointed DFPOA Agent Wants to Resign?
According to the terms and conditions of a power of attorney, an agent may resign. The agent may quit by telling the principal of their decision. Nonetheless, if the principal is incapable, the agent may quit by providing notification to the guardian or conservator, if one has been appointed, as well as to a co-agent or successor agent if one exists.
Suppose the principal is incapacitated and there is no guardian, conservator, co-agent, or successor agent. In that case, the agent may resign by giving notice to the principal’s caregiver, another person the agent believes has a sufficient interest in the principal’s welfare or a government agency with authority to protect the principal.
When Will Your Financial Power of Attorney Expire?
Any power of attorney terminates upon your death. A durable POA expires also if:
- You cancel it. As long as you have the mental capacity to do so, you may withdraw your document at any moment.
- No agent is accessible. You can identify a successor (alternative) agent in your document to lessen the risk of this happening.
- A court nullifies your document. Rarely, a court may rule your document illegal if it determines you lacked mental capacity at the time you signed it, or if you were the victim of fraud or undue influence.
Additionally, in Colorado, if your spouse is identified as your agent in your POA and you file for divorce, that designation terminates automatically. To clarify, your ex-spouse’s capacity to serve as your agent expires, but your power of attorney remains in effect. Therefore, if you selected a successor agent, that individual would serve as your agent.
Trusted Power of Attorney Lawyer in Broomfield, Colorado
Powers of attorney are essential estate planning instruments. During tough circumstances, they assist both the principal and their loved ones to avoid undue stress. These papers may be used to make decisions on things not stated in the living will or living trust.
Consult our experienced Broomfield financial power of attorney lawyer about Colorado powers of attorney. Since we at the Law Office of Clark Daniel Dray handle both estate planning and family law, we have the unique ability to personalize your plans to your preferences.
Whether you are thinking of creating powers of attorney, establishing living trusts and wills, or doing other estate planning duties, we can guarantee that all of your documents are precisely stated and that all processes are expedited.