The Good Side of Losing Control: How Getting a Power of Attorney Can Make Life Easier for a Loved One

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Although we don’t want to admit it, many of us will at some point in our lives have to deal with incapacitation due to health. One of the most stressful things a person can deal with is what to do with the finances of a loved one under those circumstances. The law created power of attorney so that if a person becomes incapacitated, someone they trust can take care of their financial and medical affairs. Creating a power of attorney makes life can life much easier, not to mention it’s relatively inexpensive.

Power of attorney gives an individual the power to act on behalf of another. The person chosen to act on behalf of the loved one is referred to as the attorney-in-fact. There are several different types of power of attorney. The specific level of control given to the attorney-in-fact is defined by type of power of attorney chosen. A general power of attorney gives broad powers to the attorney-in-fact. Under this type of power of attorney, the attorney-in-fact can handle financial transactions, contracts, life insurance, and claims. If you do not wish to give over this much control, you may wish to arrange a specific power of attorney. In this scenario, if someone gets to a point where they can handle themselves day to day but don’t wish to oversee their property anymore, said person can specify an attorney-in-fact to take over the process. A healthcare power of attorney strictly dictates the handling of medical decisions. This functions as an alternative to a living will. In a living will, the individual decides his or her own medical decisions prematurely. In the case of a healthcare power of attorney, the attorney-in-fact makes the medical decisions using the information at hand. The final type of attorney is a durable power of attorney. This is just a provision added to a power of attorney that keeps the documentation in effect.

If you know someone who needs a power of attorney or a will, we can generally draft those documents in less than thirty minutes, and we never charge for an initial consultation. If you'd like to discuss your options, please contact the Reid Law Firm today at 205-913-7406! You can also text us at 205-913-7406 for a quick answer to any legal question. Chris Reid can be reached by email at All communication to the Reid Law Firm is protected by attorney client privilege, so any information submitted will be held in confidence. Initial consultations are always free. For a complete list of our practice areas, please visit

No representation is made that the quality of the legal services to be performed is greater than the quality of the legal services performed by other lawyers.

Our firm practices the following areas of law: wills, trust, and estates, divorce and family, DUI and drug offenses (only first and second time offenses), and car accident cases. We also handle business law, including formation of business entities and drafting contracts. Additionally, I co-host Yellowhammer News every Monday during lunch from 11-12 on 101.1 fm Birmingham (but our show is broadcast throughout most of the state).