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Power of Attorney Lawyer in Simpsonville, SC, Helping Clients Protect Their Legal Interests

A power of attorney (POA) is one of the most powerful legal tools individuals can use to protect their interests should they become incapacitated or otherwise unable to act for themselves. A POA can designate who they would like to handle financial and healthcare matters should they be incapable of doing so and can help prevent conservatorship or guardianship later.

However, anyone considering creating a POA should first obtain legal advice from an experienced power of attorney lawyer who can advise them of their rights and determine what is in their best interests.

If you would like to create a POA, contact the Law Office of Rhett Burney in Simpsonville, S.C., and ask to schedule a consultation to discuss your legal needs.

What Are the Advantages of Having a Power of Attorney?

A POA has several definite advantages depending on the needs of the individual. A POA is a legal document in which the person, known as the “principal,” designates who can act as their “agent” and make decisions on their behalf.

A POA can grant the agent several legal authorizations, including:

  • The ability to pay bills and manage finances for the principal.
  • A medical POA can be crafted to allow the agent to make decisions for the principal while undergoing intense medical treatment or chronic illness.
  • Manage the affairs of an elderly individual who has been diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s

However, several different types of power of attorney are available in South Carolina depending on the individual’s specific needs at the time. For this reason, it is always best to hire an experienced power of attorney lawyer to help create a legal document that considers those needs but still ensures that the individual’s rights are protected.

What Are the Legal Requirements For a Financial Power of Attorney in South Carolina?

Even though there are several different powers of attorney available in South Carolina, the most common is a financial POA. A financial POA is a legal document allowing the agent or an organization to handle the principal’s finances, such as buying or selling property or accessing their bank accounts to pay bills.

However, specific legal criteria must be met for a financial POA to be considered valid. These legal requirements include:

  • The principal must be of “sound mind,” meaning they have the mental capacity to understand the legal consequences of creating the POA.
  • The principal must sign the POA in the presence of two adult witnesses, who will then also sign the will. However, neither of the witnesses is permitted to be the designated agent for the POA.
  • The POA must be notarized before it will be considered valid in South Carolina.

It is also important to note that all POAs must be recorded in the lands record office in the county where the principal resides for it to take effect upon the principal becoming incapacitated.

The Law Office of Rhett Burney has a legal team dedicated to ensuring that all POA legal qualifications are met, and there are no issues later.

When Does a Power of Attorney End?

A POA typically ends upon the death of the principal. However, there are several reasons why a durable POA could be terminated before the principal’s death which include:

  • The principal revokes it. The principal has the legal right to revoke a POA anytime as long as they are of sound mind.
  • The named agent is unavailable. However, it is always best to prevent an early termination if an alternate agent is named in the POA.
  • The court renders the POA invalid if it is determined the principal was not mentally competent when they signed it. Likewise, the court may terminate a POA if it is discovered that the principal was the victim of fraud or undue influence.
  • If a spouse is named as the agent and the couple divorces, their designation is automatically removed. However, if an alternate agent has been named, the POA can remain in effect.

Why Should I Hire a Power of Attorney Lawyer to Help Me Create the Necessary Legal Documents?

Many online options now allow individuals to create their legal documents. However, even though these options may seem convenient, mistakes could render a document invalid by the court.

Instead, it is always in an individual’s best interests to hire an experienced power of attorney lawyer to ensure the POA meets all legal criteria and holds up to outside scrutiny. One of the last things any family or agent wants to deal with is legal issues that may arise because the validity of the POA is in dispute.

The Law Office of Rhett Burney of Simpsonville, S.C., is dedicated to helping individuals and families plan for the future by creating POAs that meet their needs. If you want to create a POA or need more information, contact our law office at (864) 689 4482 to schedule a consultation.