Iowa Power of Attorney

Has your Iowa estate planning attorney mentioned the use of powers of attorney in your estate plan? You may have discussed the addition of a springing durable financial power of attorney and a springing durable medical power of attorney. These are important forms and should definitely be part of your estate plan. These documents need to be prepared correctly the first time, preferably by an attorney, since you will probably not have a chance to redo them.

Springing durable powers of attorney become effective only if you are declared mentally incompetent. They get filed next to your will and other important documents and you hope you never need them. If you were to be involved in accident that left you temporarily incapacitated these forms could become very important. They would give your spouse, or anyone else you may have chosen, the power to immediately start making decisions for you. Having these forms on hand is much faster than waiting on a judge to grant the same powers.

A durable medical power of attorney gives the person you appoint the power to make all of your health decisions for you. A separate document can be added to you power of attorney giving specific instructions to your attorney-in-fact and your caregivers. Your attorney-in-fact and your health care providers are then bound to follow your instructions to the best of their ability.

Your springing durable financial power of attorney grants the power to take over all of your financial affairs. This might include taking care of your children, opening your mail, making bank deposits, paying bills and possibly selling property or stocks. A lot of things can go bad if there is any kind of time lag between your accident and someone taking over. Your Iowa power of attorney should become effective immediately upon a doctor declaring you mentally unsound.

Non-durable powers of attorney become void if you are ever declared mentally incapacitated. They are still important and useful in many ways. These fall into two groups, general and special. A general non-durable power of attorney grants a wide range of powers to the person of your choosing, your attorney-in-fact. Special powers of attorney grant limited powers. They are often called specific powers of attorney or limited powers of attorney. An example would be an Iowa property power of attorney given to a realtor to work a property through escrow in your absence. Another example is the Iowa vehicle power of attorney, used to transfer titles, when the owner is unavailable.

The person you are giving authority to in an Iowa power of attorney is called an attorney-in-fact. If you appoint your spouse as you attorney-in-fact, as is very common, and you were to get divorced, also very common, this document stays in effect. In Iowa, your powers of attorneys are not automatically voided if you divorce your attorney-in-fact, you need to take care of this yourself and in a timely manner.

Iowa power of attorney forms are available at Legal Zoom and in most cases these can be filled out and filed without the need of an attorney.

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