Power of Attorney Mistake #1: Doing it Yourself

The promise that a good power of attorney offers is the ability to delegate your decision-making rights to others. Whether you want your bank to handle your bills or need someone to make decisions for you should you become incapacitated, powers of attorney are very flexible documents that can help you in any number of situations.

Yet the strength of a good power of attorney is entirely dependent on how well it is made. Making your own power of attorney, while legally possible, is not a very good idea. Here’s why.

Precision and Brevity

A carefully crafted power of attorney serves the specific purposes you identify without granting your attorney-in-fact too much power, while at the same time making the document easily understandable. People who make their own legal documents will often not know how to manage these different requirements. Self-made powers of attorney are often either too thin or too dense, making them practically unusable.

Individually Tailored

A good power of attorney fits you like a piece of tailored clothing. No two powers of attorney are identical and all need to both serve the desires of the person making it and comply with the laws of your state. Knowing how to do this is often a matter of experience even if you have the legal knowledge needed. A good estate planning attorney can walk you through the process and create a power of attorney that fits any need.

Author Bio

Catherine Hammond is the CEO and founder of Hammond Law Group, a Colorado-based estate planning law firm she founded in 2005. With a strong focus on protecting families from the legal consequences of disability and death, she creates comprehensive estate plans that minimize taxes, costs, and government interference.

A native of Denver, Catherine completed her undergraduate studies at Coe College in Iowa, and her Juris Doctorate from the University of Denver College of Law in 1993, concentrating on estate planning, tax, and mediation. Catherine is a member of various professional organizations, including WealthCounsel, ElderCounsel, the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, the Colorado Springs Estate Planning Council, and the Purposeful Planning Institute. Beyond her legal expertise, Catherine provides transformational coaching to support clients and their families through life transitions.

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