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Steps to become a power of attorney

A power of attorney (POA) is an individual that you trust and not only a document that is signed. You have to become an agent who puts the interests of another person above your own. In California, there are several steps to take to become a good representative for another.

Understand the types of power of attorney

When people hear of a power of attorney, they think there is only one type available. When you are given a general power of attorney, you handle another person’s finances if the person becomes mentally or physically disabled. Second, a limited POA is a more restrictive agreement that limits the amount of power that an agent has. For instance, an agent may be allowed to handle the land and property dealings but not the healthcare and business affairs.

The third type of agreement is the healthcare POA. If a person becomes mentally and physically incapacitated, the agent makes healthcare decisions on his or her behalf. The most common types of medical decisions include do-not-resuscitate orders and physician orders for life-sustaining treatments.

Explain the benefits

Next, an agent must explain the benefits of becoming a power of attorney to a close family member or friend. Explain that the agent does not profit financially from becoming the POA and only works for the sole interests of another person.

Prepare the documentation

Preparing the legal paperwork is the next step of estate planning. The person who needs the POA has to create his or her last will and testament or create a trust that provides a list of beneficiaries.

Starting the process

Estate planning consists of several steps that do not end up with creating and signing a will. Offering to become a power of attorney makes the process easier for a close family member or friend.