Estate planning is something that many Oregon residents fail to do. Why? No one wants to think about dying. The truth is, estate planning is about more than preparing for one’s death. It is about protecting oneself and preventing family conflict that may lead to litigation.

One way to prevent conflict that could lead to litigation is by having a power of attorney in place. A POA is a legal document in which an individual designates one or more people to act on his or her behalf in the event that he or she is not present or mentally or physically able to do so on his or her own. There are several different types of POA forms, they are:

  • Ordinary
  • Durable
  • Springing

An ordinary POA can only be obtained and used when a person is of sound mind. The agent will have the ability to engage in transactions if one is unavailable to do so for any reason. This type of POA becomes invalid if one’s mental or physical capacity is compromised.

A durable POA can only be obtained when one is of sound mind. Unlike an ordinary POA, it is still valid if one’s mental or physical capacity is diminished. This type of POS also gives specific information about what one’s agent is actually allowed to do.

A springing POA is written while one is of sound mind but does not take effect immediately. It only becomes active if mental or physical incapacitation occurs. With this type of POA, the courts may have to step in and decide if an event has occurred that would spring it into effect.

When a POA is in place, what one wants in regard to his or her medical and financial care is documented and clear. This is why having this type of legal document can prevent conflict and litigation. Oregon residents who think having a POA would be of benefit to them can turn to an experienced estate planning attorney in order to obtain the right type for their needs.