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Benefits and downfalls of a springing POA

On Behalf of | Jul 9, 2021 | Estate Planning |

At some point in our lives, most of us will need a Power of Attorney to help us navigate medical decisions and financial choices. A good Power of Attorney can help a disabled person protect themselves and their assets. But what if you don’t need POA right now but will need their help in the future? This is where a springing POA can be a good choice for those within the Washington, DC area.

What is a springing power of attorney?

Unlike a regular power of attorney, a springing POA is set up for a specific situation or point in time. When a power of attorney is put in place, they instantly have the ability to start making decisions for the person under their care — even if it isn’t wanted or needed. A springing POA can only make decisions in certain situations.

Benefits of a springing POA

No one wants their right to make decisions removed from them prematurely. By awarding someone springing POA, it means that one’s personal power is still in place until they are determined incapacitated. Some legal documents have very strict guidelines such as incapacitation being determined with the signing of two physicians and a family member.

Cons of a springing POA

While there are some benefits to springing POAs, there are also downfalls. To ensure that the power of attorney doesn’t take action in advance, legal documents have to be carefully written to include the signatures of trusted medical professionals so that the POA won’t try to get their charge determined incapacitated before they truly are unable to manage their own affairs. On the other hand, springing POAs can also be shaky since it involves signing one’s future over to a person who they don’t trust enough not to take control before it’s needed.

Knowing when to hand authority to another person can be a challenge, and the legal aspects are often overwhelming. If you are trying to determine whether you need a POA or a springing POA, you should talk to a lawyer to make the smartest choice.