Getting a Power of Attorney in Missouri

Rolla firm helps people protect themselves in case of incapacity

At Williams, Robinson, Rigler & Buschjost, P.C. in Rolla, we develop power of attorney documents and Missouri advance directives for health care. Regardless of your age or financial condition, our experienced attorneys can outline how a power of attorney might meet your needs. From there, we can prepare an enforceable, personalized legal instrument for you.

What is a power of attorney?

It’s smart to think about including a durable power of attorney with your estate planning documents. Like other advance directives, a power of attorney can help eliminate confusion and put a trusted person, known as the “attorney in fact,” in control of key decisions that affect you. Specific types of power of attorney documents include the following:

  • General — Under a general power of attorney, the attorney in fact is authorized to represent you in various types of legal and financial matters.
  • Limited — You might wish to complete a narrow power of attorney to only cover a particular transaction or timeframe.
  • Financial — Elderly people and others who have difficulty dealing with complex financial issues sometimes confer the authority to handle these affairs to a loved one or trusted professional.
  • Medical — Similar to a healthcare proxy, you might wish to complete a limited power of attorney that gives someone else the ability to make important choices related to your medical care.

Without an enforceable power of attorney, you run the risk of having key concerns go unaddressed while those close to you struggle to figure out who should be in charge.

What is a durable power of attorney?

Standard power of attorney documents are only enforceable while the person granting legal authority has the proper capacity to do so. However, a durable power of attorney allows an agent to assume control even if the principal is not able to make decisions on their own. Creating a durable power of attorney can give you the security of knowing that someone will be able to manage your affairs even if you are seriously ill or injured.

Who should you choose to receive power of attorney?

The agent you appoint must be at least 18 years old. It’s best to take some time to consider who is trustworthy and capable enough to handle this responsibility. Someone who has been judged by the court to be incapacitated or a habitual alcoholic cannot serve as an agent. You are allowed to name two people to share the authority or establish a contingency power of attorney in case the first person you appoint is unavailable at the time they are needed.

When does power of attorney end in Missouri?

Should the principal elect to retake legal authority, they can revoke or modify their power of attorney. This might happen if someone recovers from a temporary medical condition or returns from an overseas vacation. Power of attorney also expires upon the principal’s death.

What authority does a power of attorney give?

If you are considering drafting a power of attorney, it is important to understand the scope of its authority.

What a power of attorney can do

A general power of attorney can grant the attorney in fact the ability to execute legal documents and make financial transactions on someone else’s behalf. If you prefer, you can tailor a limited power of attorney to a specific area or matter, such as the sale of your home.

What a power of attorney can’t do

Someone given power of attorney cannot use that authority to grant themselves “gifts” from the principal’s assets. They also are prohibited from changing the principal’s will for any reason. 

Contact a Missouri lawyer about creating a power of attorney document

Williams, Robinson, Rigler & Buschjost, P.C. in Rolla prepares power of attorney documents for Missouri clients. For a consultation with a seasoned attorney, please call 573-458-9481 or contact us online