Power of Attorney in Las Cruces, NM

Have you ever wondered who would take care of your finances or make decisions for you if you were unable to do so for yourself? Don’t worry about leaving it up to whoever the law says has this right. Look into securing a power of attorney. This legal document can help you prepare for any situation where you may need someone else to make decisions for you. With the help of an attorney in Las Cruces, New Mexico you can easily set one up and get peace of mind today.

What Is a Power of Attorney?

The American Bar Association defines power of attorney as a document that gives someone power to act on your behalf as a legal agent. This authority can be either temporary, or permanent. The result is that your designated agent can manage your affairs without your written approval.

Why Would You Need a Power of Attorney?

One of the reasons why you may pursue a POA is for convenience. For example, you may rather have someone manage your assets without securing your approval each time. Any New Mexico POA can circumvent checks and balance steps, and allow someone to act on your behalf.

Another reason for a POA is if you are unable to make legally sound decisions. A POA provides you with security, giving a person of your choosing the power to act for you. This arrangement is typical for senior citizens. It’s also common for  people with severe physical or mental conditions that prevent them from making decisions.

Types of Power of Attorney In Las Cruces, New Mexico

Not every POA grants the same powers to your agent. In fact, you can choose from a variety of different POAs. This allows you to cater to what best suits your situation.

General Power of Attorney

A general POA grants an array of powers to the agent. This can include:

  • The ability to handle your financial matters and accounts
  • Power to manage your insurance needs
  • The ability to operate your business
  • The ability to make business decisions on your behalf
  • Power to hire or fire employees
  • The ability to settle claims against you
  • The ability to change your estate plan.

You may use this type of POA if you will be away for an extended period and need legal representation in Las Cruces, NM to handle your affairs. This legal arrangement may happen during your absence. It may also occur in a situation where you cannot make the decisions on your own due to an illness or injury.

Special Power of Attorney

A special POA is more specific, giving you the power to sign off on distinct powers granted to your agent. For example, if you only want someone to sign off on real estate deals, a limited power of attorney would be proper. You may also choose to use a special POA when you don’t have the time to deal with specific affairs due to time or health constraints.

New Mexico’s Uniform Power of Attorney Act governs general and financial POAs in Las Cruces. The Act includes a statutory form that allows you to grant all general powers or select them individually. In addition, you can add certain special powers, such as those involving trusts, beneficiaries, and rights of survivorship. However, these laws and this form do not apply to health care POAs. Instead, medical POAs fall under New Mexico’s Uniform Health-Care Decisions Act.

Health Care Power of Attorney

This type of POA grants your agent the right to make all medical decisions on your behalf. It comes in handy when you are not conscious or are otherwise unable to make decisions regarding your health care. While state laws can differ, your POA could have the ability to make serious decisions, like ending life support.

You may want to use a health care POA if you are elderly or sick. It’s possible you could find yourself in a situation where you can’t make decisions on your own. A Power of attorney can transfer to your child or someone you trust so that care can continue in your best interests.

Durable Power of Attorney

A durable power of attorney (DPOA), enables the agent to control specified functions. DPOAs are useful if you anticipate losing your mental faculties, such as after an Alzheimer’s diagnosis. In essence, it acts as a preventative safeguard.

New Mexico law deems all Las Cruces POAs durable unless they expressly state otherwise. In addition, there is no requirement that you sign the document in the presence of a notary or other witnesses. However, a notary stamp creates a presumption that your signature is valid. In addition, your agent can provide a notarized certification of validity if there is a concern. Keep in mind that many financial institutions will only honor a notarized POA, regardless of the state law requirement.

Choosing an Agent

The person you choose as an agent should be someone you trust. Often, people choose a family member as they usually have your best interests in mind and are close to you. However, you can select any individual to be your POA. Keep in mind that whoever you choose will be in charge of managing your affairs. This should be someone you trust to honor your wishes.

Appointing Multiple Agents

As a principal, in Las Cruces, NM you have the right to appoint multiple agents. You decide whether these agents act together or make separate decisions. Having two or more agents establishes a system of checks and balances. This procedure keeps one agent from making too rash of a judgment. However, it can also lead to discrepancies that may cause delays.

At the very least, it is crucial to have a backup POA should something happen to your primary. A successor agent can take control once the primary agent either passes away or cannot carry out the duties of an agent.

Revoking a Power of Attorney in Las Cruces, New Mexico

You have the right to revoke your power of attorney at any time as long as you are of sound mind to do so. You will have to put your revocation in writing and file it with the same place in Las Cruces, NM that handled your original POA paperwork.

Another party may also try to revoke your POA. Although, that becomes a much more complex legal proceeding and would be difficult to prove in court. The person would have to show the agent has done something to jeopardize your interests.

According to the New Mexico State Bar Foundation, you can revoke your Las Cruces general or financial POA in one of two ways. First, you can destroy all originals and copies. Alternatively, you can execute a written revocation and sign it in the presence of a notary. You should give the revocation to your agent and anyone else who has a copy of your POA. On the other hand, under New Mexico statute, no physical act or writing is necessary to revoke a health care POA. In most cases, you can simply communicate your wishes to your doctor.

Using a POA to Protect your Interests

You can insert provisions into your agreement that force your agent to report to an outside party. For example, a family accountant or a designated medical doctor could fill this role. This arrangement adds another layer of security and guarantees that another party can review decisions.

Even if you have a durable POA, a Las Cruces court may still need to appoint fiduciary if you become incapacitated. Under New Mexico legislation, you can nominate fiduciaries in your POA, and the court will typically abide by your wishes. However, the appointment of a fiduciary does not automatically revoke the POA or any of the agent’s powers. Instead, the agent becomes accountable to both the fiduciary and the principal.

Do I Need a Lawyer to File POA in Las Cruces, New Mexico?

It is always wise to consult with an attorney who specializes in Las Cruces trust or estate issues. POA paperwork can be complex, so having a dedicated Las Cruces legal professional on your side is helpful. A lawyer can also help you add provisions that safeguard your interests when you cannot look out for yourself.

Work with an Experienced Local Lawyer in Las Cruces, New Mexico

If you want to create a power of attorney, you should begin by speaking with an attorney. We can match you with an experienced Las Cruces lawyer that can help you navigate your POA. We can even help you connect with an attorney across New Mexico state lines.

Submit a request online or call us today at (866) 345-6784 to get in touch with an experienced lawyer in your area!

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