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Making the decision to sign a POA document

Many Colorado citizens may consider whether signing a power of attorney document is in their best interests, particularly as they age and accumulate wealth. A financial power of attorney grants an "agent" the authority to make financial decisions for the "principal". The principal can decide what types of financial decisions the agent is authorized to make on his or her behalf.

The decision to sign a power of attorney document should not be taken lightly. It is important for individuals who are considering granting another person this type of authority over their finances to carefully consider their options and make sure that they do not feel pressured into signing the document. Someone who is considering signing a power of attorney document might also consider having a professional, such as an estate planning attorney or a financial adviser, look over the document.

Aging seniors may be especially vulnerable to feeling pressure from friends or relatives to sign a POA document. A person who is pressuring someone to sign may wish to gain control of the agent's finances for selfish reasons. If the individual who is being asked to sign this type of document feels rushed, it may be a good idea to step back and revisit the issue at a later time. Unreasonable pressure to sign a POA document should be considered a red flag.

An estate planning attorney may be able to assist a person who is considering signing a power of attorney document by explaining all the legal terms it contains and ensuring that the terms are favorable to the principal. Lawyers who practice in estate planning also may be able to help their clients draft wills and trust documents and explore other options for how their estates will be handled in case they become incapacitated or pass away.

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Samuel J. Owen, P.C.
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Golden, CO 80401

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CBA | Colorado Bar Association | Established in 1897 Denver Bar Association | Since 1891 Nebraska | State Bar Association Naela | National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, Inc.