Are you familiar with the different types of Hawaii power of attorneys and how you might use them? There are durable power of attorneys for your estate planning needs and normal power of attorneys for everyday needs. A general power of attorney allows a wide range of control while special power of attorneys are very limited.
If you are currently working with a Hawaii estate planning attorney you probably already have power of attorneys for your health and financial needs. These would be the durable type, meaning they become active only if you are pronounced mentally incapable of making decisions. In Hawaii, the person you name as your agent becomes your attorney-in-fact. This person can be anyone you know and trust. You will have given this person the power to step in and make decisions for you if at any time you are not able to. These important documents belong in a file next to your will, life insurance policies and trust forms.
A general power of attorney is a good one to use if you are traveling out of the country. You may want to assign your attorney-in-fact the power to handle any matters regarding your business, personal finances and children. Normally this is done more as insurance than anything else, a just in case anything terrible happens kind of document.
While away on that trip maybe one of your properties is scheduled to close escrow. Instead of flying contracts all over the world and back you could leave your realtor with a special property power of attorney strictly for the purpose of closing this one deal for you. If you have left your kids in the care of another person you may also want to leave them a power of attorney for children. In this special power of attorney you could allow your attorney-in-fact to handle any type of emergency that a child might have. Getting medical treatment for a minor can be a long process without a parent signature, not so with a Hawaii power of attorney for children.
If you ever get divorced in Hawaii make sure you change your durable power of attorneys, that is, if you have named your spouse as your attorney-in-fact. Some states will automatically void these types of power of attorneys but not in Hawaii. It is possible to get into a car accident, ten years after your divorce, stay unconscious for a few days and wake up to find your ex has completely wiped you out. Yes, that was an extreme example, but you get the point. Change your power of attorneys, as well as many other forms in your estate plan, should a divorce occur.
Hawaii power of attorneys are automatically voided if the attorney-in-fact cannot be located. You are allowed to name an alternative, and this is highly recommended just to be on the save side. It is also recommended that you have a meeting with the person you are naming on these documents, especially with your durable power of attorneys. Show them where the forms are and also any special instructions. A durable medical power of attorney may have a whole book of special instructions attached. Take the time to go over all of these items so you are sure your wishes will be carried out should the need ever arise.
Most of your Hawaii power of attorney forms are available at Legal Zoom. And most of these forms can be filled out and filed without the help of an attorney. Because of the importance of your durable power of attorneys it is probably a good idea to go over these with your lawyer. You want to be sure, while you are mentally competent and able, that your forms are filled out and filed correctly. When and if they are needed would be to late for you to make changes.
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