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South Dakota Powers of Attorney Lawyers

Providing Clients with Insight & Foresight for 30 Years

Whether you just graduated from college or you are about to celebrate your 30-year class reunion, it is never too soon to start strategizing about your financial legacy in the event that you are unable to make decisions for yourself later. Aspen Legacy Planning can help you answer questions about finding someone to legally make decisions on your behalf. Learn about power of attorney and why you need one by calling us today.

Dial (605) 610-4016 now or contact our firm online and get started planning for the important decisions in your future.

A power of attorney is a document that bestows a trusted relative or friend with the authority to make decisions for you in the event that you become incapable of doing so. This agreement is vital to ensuring your health care and finances are managed to your specific standards. Selecting an agent to act on your behalf can be stressful, but your decision need not be final as your power of attorney can be amended for as long as you remain mentally sound.

What is Power of Attorney?

A Power of Attorney (POA) is a legal document that grants one person (the agent or attorney-in-fact) the authority to act on behalf of another person (the principal) in specified or all legal and financial matters. The scope and duration of this authority can vary widely depending on the type of POA and the principal's wishes.

Here are the main types of Power of Attorney:

  • General Power of Attorney: This grants broad powers to the agent to manage the principal’s affairs, including financial transactions, business operations, and legal decisions. It is often used for a specified period or until the principal becomes incapacitated.
  • Durable Power of Attorney: This remains in effect even if the principal becomes incapacitated. It is commonly used for long-term planning to ensure that someone trusted can manage the principal’s affairs if they are unable to do so themselves due to illness or disability.
  • Limited (or Special) Power of Attorney: This grants the agent authority to act in specific situations or for particular tasks, such as selling property, managing a bank account, or handling a specific business transaction. It is limited in scope and duration as defined by the principal.
  • Springing Power of Attorney: This becomes effective only under certain conditions specified by the principal, typically when the principal becomes incapacitated. It “springs” into action when the triggering event occurs.
  • Medical (or Healthcare) Power of Attorney: This grants the agent the authority to make healthcare decisions on behalf of the principal if they become unable to make these decisions themselves. It can cover decisions about medical treatment, surgical procedures, and long-term care.

The benefits of establishing a Power of Attorney include:

  • Continuity of Care and Management: Ensures that someone trusted can manage the principal's affairs without interruption, especially in cases of incapacity.
  • Flexibility and Control: Allows the principal to specify the powers granted and the conditions under which they become effective, providing a high level of control over their affairs.
  • Legal and Financial Security: Helps protect the principal's interests by appointing a responsible person to handle their matters, reducing the risk of financial mismanagement or legal complications.
  • Peace of Mind: Provides reassurance to the principal and their family that there is a plan in place for managing affairs in the event of incapacity.

It's essential to choose a trustworthy and capable agent, as the person granted Power of Attorney will have significant control over the principal's affairs. It's also advisable to consult with a legal professional to ensure that the Power of Attorney document is correctly drafted and meets the principal's needs and legal requirements.

Types of Powers of Attorney in South Dakota 

The two main areas of concern when planning for your future are health care directives and financial powers of attorney.

What Is a Health Care Directive? 

Health care directives consist of:

  • Going to court to fight for your desired health care plan
  • Conferring with your doctors and other medical professionals
  • Being authorized to review medical records
  • Reserving the right to visit you in the hospital

What Is a Financial Power of Attorney? 

Financial powers of attorney focus on:

  • Making sure your bills, taxes, and medical expenses are paid on time
  • Overseeing your real estate portfolio
  • Investing your money for you
  • Selling your property, if appropriate
  • Managing your business

Now is the time to start taking your future seriously. At Aspen Legacy Planning, Principal Attorney Stephen J. Wesolick can walk you through the steps in the estate planning process so you can determine what arrangement suits your needs.

Call our office today at (605) 610-4016 to explore your health care and financial powers of attorney options.

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