American Legal Care https://americanlegalcare.net Tue, 01 Oct 2019 15:13:05 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.2.4 Using Self-Defense in Assault Charges https://americanlegalcare.net/using-self-defense-in-assault-charges/ Tue, 01 Oct 2019 15:13:03 +0000 https://americanlegalcare.net/?p=824 Each state has self-defense laws which permit people to use reasonable force if they were to encounter an aggressor or attacker, and avoid criminal liability. However, every state has its own set of laws governing what exactly reasonable force means in self-defense, and behavior that exceeds the bounds for that state may result in a […]

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Each state has self-defense laws which permit people to use reasonable force if they were to encounter an aggressor or attacker, and avoid criminal liability. However, every state has its own set of laws governing what exactly reasonable force means in self-defense, and behavior that exceeds the bounds for that state may result in a criminal assault conviction. 

An attorney can understand how unfair this may sound. Why should you have to ensure you are responding reasonably when another person has chosen to make you feel unsafe? Sadly, that is the current law and a legal team will do whatever is within their power to see that you are protected from a conviction or harsh punishments. 

Claiming Self-Defense in Court

Defendants who want to use self-defense as a legal strategy to fight an assault conviction, must be aware of what this means precisely. If you claim self-defense, you are essentially admitting that you used some degree of force or violence against another person, but that it was needed so yourself or others were safe. 

Sometimes, the attacker pretends to be the victim, when in fact they had instigated the situation. In self-defense, you must have used a level of force that was about the same as the attacker. For example, if you drew out a gun and shot at an aggressor after punching you, this may be viewed as excessive and unnecessary force. 

Who Started the Fight

In general, a person who started the physical violence cannot claim self-defense. But, there may be exceptions to this rule. For instance, if a couple got into a verbal disagreement that escalated, the boyfriend cannot draw a knife if the girlfriend only hit him with her fist. If the girlfriend then responds by taking the knife and using it against the boyfriend, she may be able to claim it was self-defense despite her not being totally innocent. 

As you can see, cases of assault can get very complicated as each step in the incident is going to be scrutinized. An attorney can consult with you and offer advice based on exactly what happened to you. 

Determining Reasonable Force

As stated above, a person can use reasonable force in self-defense. But, what is deemed reasonable depends on the circumstances of the incident. Defendants who used additional force than needed to protect themselves, others, and/or property may be found guilty of assault.

In the heat of the moment, many people may use deadly force when faced with a threatening situation. Deadly force cannot be used unless the aggressor had used such force too. With self-defense, there has to be evidence that the defendant feared for his or her life so much so that deadly force was needed to apprehend the attacker. 

If you recently used self-defense in response to an attacker, can rely on an attorney for help. Assault is considered a violent crime, so if you are convicted you could face steep fines and jail time. Let a lawyer fight for what you suffered, and advocate for why you aren’t the bad guy. Call today before things escalate. 

Source: Newark Personal Injury Lawyer, Rispoli & Borneo, P.C.

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What If The Person Who Accused Me of Assault is Lying? https://americanlegalcare.net/what-if-the-person-who-accused-me-of-assault-is-lying/ Tue, 01 Oct 2019 15:07:04 +0000 https://americanlegalcare.net/?p=822 Assault is a violent crime. However, each state may define assault differently from another. Some states may view assault as the use of violence or force against another person, such as using an object as a weapon or hitting them with their fists. In other states, they may categorize assault as not needing to make […]

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Assault is a violent crime. However, each state may define assault differently from another. Some states may view assault as the use of violence or force against another person, such as using an object as a weapon or hitting them with their fists. In other states, they may categorize assault as not needing to make physical contact and that even unsuccessful physical attempts at harm may be in violation of the law if the victim felt seriously threatened. Verbal threats are not typically sufficient enough to be assault. But, raising a hand or moving threateningly towards another could be plenty for the victim to file an assault charge against the perpetrator. 

Unfortunately, not everyone acts with a moral compass when accusing another person of a crime. A person who wasn’t actually hurt or threatened by someone may call the police and lie as a way to seek revenge or just get someone they dislike in trouble. If this is the case for you, then it is highly advisable you seek legal counsel for help getting the charges dropped. 

What happens if the “victim” says I did something that made them feel threatened?

Depending on the state you reside and how assault is defined, will determine whether the actions you supposedly took were serious enough to have caused fear in the other person. The victim’s response must have been not only genuine but reasonable based on the circumstances of the event. Just because someone came forward and accused you of assault doesn’t mean you are automatically charged. The person who made these claims will have to bring forward supporting evidence. If you hire an attorney, then he or she can analyze the case and proof brought against you. 

What is the least serious level of assault?

Simple assault is often charged as a misdemeanor and is the very least serious, that involves minor injury or threat of harm. If you live in a state where assault is viewed as a physical attack, then slapping or shoving a person during an argument may be charged as simple assault. However, if you live in a state where assault is defined as any threatening behavior that causes fear, then a person who verbally threatens to harm another may receive a simple assault conviction. To find out about your state laws and how this impacts your assault accusation, it is best to consult with an attorney who is familiar with criminal defense cases. 

Does it matter if the victim is considered a person of “protected class”?

There are a number of states that view certain people as being more vulnerable than others to having their safety put at risk. Those who are often under a “protected class” or “special victim” could be people like police officers, emergency care providers, a senior citizen, or disabled individual. A simple assault towards one of these people may cause the charge to increase to a more severe misdemeanor or felony. 

Source:Criminal Defense Lawyer Denver, CO, Richard J. Banta, P.C.

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Will PIP or MedPay Cover Bicycle Accidents? https://americanlegalcare.net/will-pip-or-medpay-cover-bicycle-accidents/ Thu, 06 Jun 2019 22:21:10 +0000 https://americanlegalcare.net/?p=810 In the car insurance world, you are likely to hear PIP and MedPay, or personal injury protection and medical payments claims. These are claims that go against an insurance company after an accident. It doesn’t matter who caused the accident, this insurance is for no-fault claims. If you were in a bicycle accident, you may […]

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In the car insurance world, you are likely to hear PIP and MedPay, or personal injury protection and medical payments claims. These are claims that go against an insurance company after an accident. It doesn’t matter who caused the accident, this insurance is for no-fault claims. If you were in a bicycle accident, you may be wondering if PIP or MedPay will cover the accident. The answer is that usually, both of these coverages will help with bicycle accidents. Here is what you need to know.

Coverage Under PIP

PIP covers medical expenses and lost wages. In some states, it may even cover other damages. These payments may go towards the driver, the passengers and in some cases, pedestrians or bicyclists. In most no-fault states, PIP is required in some form or another. If you’re in a bicycle accident and you’re wondering if PIP will pay for your accident, it’s likely that it will.

Coverage Under MedPay

Most states are fault insurance states. These states always have MedPay coverage. MedPay covers drivers, the passengers and any pedestrians or bicyclists involved in an accident. When it comes to MedPay claims, you don’t have to wait until medical treatment is complete to start making claims. You can send bills as they come to you.

MedPay Versus PIP

Some people may have MedPay, while others have PIP. In some cases, a person may have both coverages. If you’re in a bicycle accident, it’s important to know that PIP is considered primary and will pay first. MedPay kicks in once the PIP benefits have been completely exhausted.

Usually, when it comes to PIP or MedPay car insurance, it is the first line of defense to pay for medical bills after an accident. When a car strikes a bicycle, this insurance will pay for those injuries. Now, if PIP or Medpay pays for your medical bills and you later recover damages, you may have to repay the insurance company for those benefits.

If you’re in a bicycle accident, PIP and MedPay will cover the accident. If you think that you are owed damages for your bicycle accident, then you may want to contact an attorney to ask more questions. Whenever you are involved in an accident, you need to do more than simply contact insurance companies. You also should contact a lawyer to make sure that you get your fair share of award for medical bills and other compensation. Contact a bicycle accidents lawyer today!

 

Source: Bike Accident Lawyer Brookhaven, GA, Butler Law Firm

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Learn What Injuries Are Covered by Workers’ Compensation https://americanlegalcare.net/learn-what-injuries-are-covered-by-workers-compensation/ Thu, 06 Jun 2019 05:36:09 +0000 https://americanlegalcare.net/?p=808 Workers’ compensation is designed to compensate employees for any injuries that are sustained while working. Although this system is designed to protect employees, many workers do not realize what their rights are. There is a lot of misinformation out there, so it is important that you know what the facts are. The first question many […]

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Workers’ compensation is designed to compensate employees for any injuries that are sustained while working. Although this system is designed to protect employees, many workers do not realize what their rights are. There is a lot of misinformation out there, so it is important that you know what the facts are. The first question many employees have is what illnesses and injuries are covered. Keep in mind that each state works slightly differently when it comes to workers’ comp. This means it is incredibly helpful to research the exact laws surrounding your state in particular.

Conditions of Coverage

The first thing you should understand about workers’ comp is that all injuries are covered. It does not matter what kind of injury it is or how big or small it is, workers’ comp is there to reimburse you for any medical bills or other expenses you accrue due to the injury, including lost wages. Instead of limitations on the type of injury, most of the limitations are based on the circumstances surrounding the accident.

For instance, only injuries that happen while you are working are covered. If you are injured at work, but you were on your break at the time, chances are good that you will not be covered. The key to remember is that only injuries that result from work-related activities will be compensated. So, technically, if you are doing work even when off the clock, you can still be covered. Injuries are still covered even if the injured employee is the one at-fault for the accident.

Examples of Types of Injuries That Are Covered

  • Accidents – This is what most people think of when thinking of a workers’ comp case. If an accident injures you, you are entitled to compensation.
  • Repetitive Stress Injuries – If an action causes injury due to its repetitive nature, you are still covered. Carpal tunnel is the most common instance of a repetitive stress injury. It is important to note that these injuries usually accumulate over months or years, but this does not disqualify them.
  • Illnesses – It is not just injuries that are covered by workers’ comp. Illnesses or diseases caused by exposure to toxic materials or contaminated materials are absolutely covered, even if the affliction is lasts a lifetime.
  • Stress – Mental injuries caused by emotional or mental stress is also covered.
  • Pre-Existing Conditions – Surprisingly, even conditions that existed prior to being hired can still be covered if work-related activities worsened them.

The first step you should take if you are injured while working is to speak with a workers’ compensation lawyer.

 

Source: Workers Compensation Lawyers Queens, NY, Polsky, Shouldice & Rosen, P.C.

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I’m Getting a Divorce. What Can I Expect, Financially? https://americanlegalcare.net/im-getting-a-divorce-what-can-i-expect-financially/ Tue, 04 Jun 2019 17:14:47 +0000 https://americanlegalcare.net/?p=806 Money and Legal Care Getting a divorce is a life-changing event. It can be sad, stressful, liberating, or any combination of those things. Regardless of how you feel going into the divorce, the actual divorce proceeding is often emotionally draining and can leave you feeling exhausted and stretched to your limit. You may experience these […]

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Money and Legal Care

Getting a divorce is a life-changing event. It can be sad, stressful, liberating, or any combination of those things. Regardless of how you feel going into the divorce, the actual divorce proceeding is often emotionally draining and can leave you feeling exhausted and stretched to your limit. You may experience these feelings tenfold if your divorce is also putting you in a financially difficult situation. To prepare yourself for the impact a divorce may have on your finances, consider the questions and answers below about property division and alimony.

How will my property be divided?

Depending on the law of your state, and any agreement you have with your spouse, your marital assets may be split in any number of ways between you and your spouse. Here are three different asset distribution schemes:

  1. Some states follow the “community property” rule. “Community property” means any assets you and your spouse acquired during the marriage. This includes homes and vehicles that you purchase together, as well as any cash savings. Importantly, community property does not include anything that you owned before you got married. Community property will generally be distributed equally between you and your spouse, sometimes approaching a 50-50 split by the court. Non-community property, however, will remain in the possession of the person who owned the asset prior to the marriage.
  2. Other states follow the “equitable distribution” rule in which a court will look at all of the facts of the marriage, including the income of one spouse compared to the other, to divide all property that was accumulated during the marriage. “Equitable” does not necessarily mean “equal.” Depending on the law of your state and the type of divorce for which you file, a court may also consider who is “at fault” for failure of the marriage.
  3. All states will consider valid agreements between the couple, such as a prenuptial agreement, or a divorce settlement agreement when dividing marital property. The court will generally approve the division of assets if you and your spouse agree how it should happen, though there can be exceptions especially if there are children involved. Resolving a divorce by an agreement, often formed during a mediation, can be a great way to make sure that you preserve the assets that mean the most to you.

Alimony

After you have divided your assets, the court will also consider whether you owe or are owed alimony. Alimony is a payment one spouse makes to the other to support him or her after the divorce. Historically, alimony payments have been made by a working husband to a stay-at-home wife. In modern times, however, alimony is frequently awarded to both husbands and wives. Alimony is frequently awarded to a spouse whose income is significantly lower than the other spouse and in cases where the marriage has lasted a considerable time.

Property division and alimony are only two of the many issues you will have to address when filing for a divorce. Consider reaching out to a qualified and experienced divorce attorney in your local area today to learn more about how best to approach this difficult time in your life.

 

Source: Divorce Lawyers Collin County, TX, Scroggins Law Group

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How do I get a public defender? https://americanlegalcare.net/how-do-i-get-a-public-defender/ Sun, 28 Apr 2019 13:23:57 +0000 https://americanlegalcare.net/?p=781 How to Apply for a Public Defender If you are facing criminal charges, you may be worried about how you will pay to defend yourself. Lawyer’s fees can run into the thousands and many may not be able to afford those fees. A court-appointed attorney represents those who lack the funds to procure an attorney. […]

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How to Apply for a Public Defender

If you are facing criminal charges, you may be worried about how you will pay to defend yourself. Lawyer’s fees can run into the thousands and many may not be able to afford those fees. A court-appointed attorney represents those who lack the funds to procure an attorney. But how do I get a public defender?

What is a Public Defender

A public defender offers legal counsel free of charge to the defendant. The government covers the costs of the legal fees associated with defending your criminal case. Public defenders are real lawyers who’ve attended law school and passed a bar exam. In many cases, public defenders may have more experience than their fee-for-service counterparts. The larger the municipality size can indicate how much resources the public defender has at their disposal. Wither fewer resources and less face time, the public defender works your case as best as they can with a limited budget.

How to Qualify

Having an attorney helps you have a fair trial especially if you’ve been charged with a misdemeanor or felony. Whether juvenile or adult, a public defender can mean the difference to you receiving a fair trial. Both felonies and misdemeanors can result in time in jail or prison if convicted of the crime. With a right to an attorney, those with low income may qualify for a public defender. In order to meet the financial criteria, the court may want to see financial documentation showing that you cannot afford a private attorney. There are some courts who may take your word for it. Your expenses and income play a huge role in whether or not you qualify for a public defender. Plan to get up to three estimates from different private attorneys when presenting your case in case the judge asks for them.

Working with a Public Defender

Most public defenders have larger caseloads than private attorneys. Since many public defenders work on many cases, they often know the judges and prosecuting attorneys well and can use that as an advantage. In the course of your case, you may have the same public defender or multiple defending you during different phases of the case.

Hiring your own private attorney can provide a more consistent representative throughout your case with more personalized attention. However, a public defender is an alternative for those unable to afford a private attorney for their case. When you are charged criminally, you have the right to legal representation whether you can afford it or not.

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Will Expert Testimony Strengthen my Case? https://americanlegalcare.net/will-expert-testimony-strengthen-my-case/ Sun, 28 Apr 2019 13:18:04 +0000 https://americanlegalcare.net/?p=778 Expert Testimony: What Is It, and How Does It Help? Expert testimony can be an extremely valuable tool in several types of lawsuits, particularly those involving personal injury. Let’s look at the most common types of expert witnesses and some ways that they can strengthen your case. – Consulting witnesses and testifying experts Consulting experts […]

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Expert Testimony: What Is It, and How Does It Help?

Expert testimony can be an extremely valuable tool in several types of lawsuits, particularly those involving personal injury. Let’s look at the most common types of expert witnesses and some ways that they can strengthen your case.

– Consulting witnesses and testifying experts

Consulting experts generally provide information about facts in a lawsuit. This is helpful while building a case, but a testifying expert is likely more useful. This person will provide expert testimony under oath in court.

– Help explaining technical language and jargon

One of the most valuable functions of an expert witnesses’ testimony is their ability to explain complex technical language and industry jargon. This is especially helpful when dealing with medical terminology in a personal injury or class action lawsuit. If a doctor’s report is used as evidence, they can walk through their conclusion and explain in layman’s terms what a phrase or diagnosis means. In the case of injury or disease caused by negligence, medical lingo can become very complicated very quickly. An expert can easily break it down.

– Provide an unbiased opinion

Expert witnesses take their duty to their profession very seriously. They know that they put their credibility on the line when they swear in and provide testimony under oath. It is not only illegal to provide false testimony, but it is also unethical and against their best interests to provide biased testimony. They must objectively evaluate the information with which they have been presented and answer questions from both the prosecution and defense in such a way that shows their allegiance only to the truth and the facts that they see before them. Expert witnesses understand that they must be able to speak with authority in front of a jury and work to help explain facts to all involved.

– Provide a report that could lead to a settlement

Expert witness testimony can also perform a crucial service that can keep you out of the courtroom to begin with! Generally, the expert will provide a sworn written statement when they are hired by the representation of the victim. When the plaintiff’s defense receives this statement, the very fact that they know opposing counsel has retained an expert witness may compel them to settle. In this subtle way, expert testimony can work as leverage to put a halt to legal proceedings.

An expert witness can provide testimony that will clarify your lawsuit to the jury, and explain the long-term effects of an injury or disease, making your personal injury case much stronger.

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Do I need a lawyer to make a will?  https://americanlegalcare.net/do-i-need-a-lawyer-to-make-a-will/ Sun, 28 Apr 2019 13:09:28 +0000 https://americanlegalcare.net/?p=776 Benefits of Working with a Lawyer to Make a Will There comes a time in everyone’s life when they realize that they should probably have a last will and testament prepared. Even if you’re young or in perfect health, it’s always a good idea to have a will. If you’ve never written one before one […]

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Benefits of Working with a Lawyer to Make a Will

There comes a time in everyone’s life when they realize that they should probably have a last will and testament prepared. Even if you’re young or in perfect health, it’s always a good idea to have a will. If you’ve never written one before one of the questions you might be asking is: Do I need a lawyer to make a will?   

No, you do not need a lawyer to create a will. However, you might just want to work with one. There are a number of benefits to working with a lawyer when you’re preparing a will.  

Law Compliance

A lawyer will make sure that your last wishes adhere to any and all applicable laws. You could be surprised by what kinds of laws can come up when people are inheriting money, and applicable laws could be local, state and/or federal so there could potentially be many of them. Laws also change frequently, so it’s a good idea to work with someone who has the most up-to-date knowledge possible.

Tax Advice

Lawyers that specialize in will preparation will be able to advise you on any tax ramifications your gifts may have on others. They will know what amounts will have the least financial impact on someone’s annual taxes.

Peace of Mind

There’s a certain amount of ease that comes from knowing a legal expert was involved in preparing your will. Things can become frenetic after a loved one’s passing, and knowing that a lawyer helped prepare your will may help assuage any concerns of potential confusion or misinterpretation. The last thing you want is to have your loved ones arguing over something that’s unclear in your will.  

Reduce Stress

Preparing a will can be stressful. In addition to feeling more comfortable having assistance with preparation, an experienced lawyer can also provide some general advice that can make the process much less stressful.

Special Circumstances

You might also consider hiring a lawyer if you have any special, non-traditional circumstances. For example, if you are in a same-sex marriage or domestic partnership you may want to do everything you can to ensure your loved one will receive your gift as you intended. If you have financial accounts in any foreign countries or have an unusually large amount of assets you may want to seek legal counsel.  

While you don’t need a lawyer, if you’re confused about the process or want to talk to a professional and ask some questions, it is always advised to seek legal assistance. Give American Legal Care a call to schedule an appointment.

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Do I Need an Attorney to Bring a Lawsuit? https://americanlegalcare.net/do-i-need-an-attorney-to-bring-a-lawsuit/ Sun, 28 Apr 2019 13:04:59 +0000 https://americanlegalcare.net/?p=773 4 Reasons to Reconsider Representing Yourself in Court It is within your legal, constitutional rights to file a lawsuit without an attorney. But with a few notable exceptions (mostly involving small claims court), it’s almost always a bad idea. It can be a tempting cost-saving measure, but not having legal representation in your corner may […]

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4 Reasons to Reconsider Representing Yourself in Court

It is within your legal, constitutional rights to file a lawsuit without an attorney. But with a few notable exceptions (mostly involving small claims court), it’s almost always a bad idea. It can be a tempting cost-saving measure, but not having legal representation in your corner may very well cost you a great deal more in the long run, and will consume an exhausting amount of your time. Here are some key reasons that having an attorney bring a lawsuit on your behalf is a smart move.

1. Lawyers understand the appropriate documentation and procedures

You certainly can go to your local library and read through legal textbooks to try to learn the process of filing your lawsuit. Afterwards, you can go to your county courthouse and request the appropriate forms, fill them out, and submit them. But wouldn’t you rather have this done for you by someone who does it every day? The reality is this: even with the best intentions, you are very likely to miss some details, or make more work for you then you need to. Filing incorrectly can lead to major delays or worse. It just makes sense to fire a professional.

2. Lawyers understand when and how to challenge evidence

Chances are, your opponent in the courtroom will have legal representation. What would you do if you’ve presented your evidence, just to have the opposing counsel object and the judge sustain the objection? Likewise, would you be able to recognize an opportunity to challenge your opponent’s evidence? This is where an attorney’s years of training and skill come into play. Simply put, they will pick up on things that you almost certainly won’t.

3. Lawyers will negotiate on your behalf

Oftentimes, the best legal strategy is to avoid the courtroom. But if you could do this with your opponent one on one, you wouldn’t have needed a lawsuit. This means that if their counsel wants to negotiate a settlement or counter-offer, it’s you versus a lawyer. You may pride yourself on your haggling skills, but going up against a legal expert is simply a bad idea.

4. The law is a complicated, intricate thing!

Depending on the details of your case there may be many more areas where a non-lawyer is likely to be out of their depth in the courtroom. The bottom line is this: You are entitled to bring a lawsuit on your own, but your chances for a successful outcome increase dramatically if you rely on the expertise of someone who has graduated from law school and spent years practicing law.

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What can a Power of Attorney be Used For? https://americanlegalcare.net/what-can-a-power-of-attorney-be-used-for/ Sun, 28 Apr 2019 12:58:41 +0000 https://americanlegalcare.net/?p=769 4 Authorities Granted by Power of Attorney Typically, people don’t like to think too much about being unable to make their own decisions. But if you suffer a severe illness of injury, it is very possible that you will be in this position. As with all sorts of estate and legacy planning, it is important […]

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4 Authorities Granted by Power of Attorney

Typically, people don’t like to think too much about being unable to make their own decisions. But if you suffer a severe illness of injury, it is very possible that you will be in this position. As with all sorts of estate and legacy planning, it is important to make your wishes known. Giving power of attorney to another person (or persons) takes this concept a step further, as it allows them to act on your behalf in a legal and binding manner. Here are some of the typical applications that a power of attorney can be used for.

1. Applying for benefits

There are many ways to designate when a power of attorney takes effect. Generally, the two most common times are immediately upon execution of power of attorney documents, or when the principal can no longer make their own decisions. The principal is the person granting power of attorney, and the person receiving it is referred to as the agent. The principal may want the power of attorney to take effect immediately if they receive a negative diagnosis. If they specify that it takes effect when they are no longer able to make their own decisions, the agent may need to have physicians provide proof of this to back it up.

It is critical to understand that the principal must be of sound mind when granting power of attorney. If they are mentally incapacitated, power of attorney cannot be granted. It is, therefore, a foreword-thinking strategy by design. As such, an agent can work on the principal’s behalf to apply for public benefits such as Medicare or Medicaid.

2. Managing your business

If you, as the principal, are a business owner, you can grant power of attorney to your agent to run and make decisions for your business, including the buying and selling of assets.

3. Managing your finances

Power of attorney can also grant the agent the authority to manage the principal’s finances. This is a broad power that includes writing and cashing checks, collecting debts, and investing the principal’s money as they see fit, generally without oversight.

4. Pursuing legal action

An agent with power of attorney may also sue on your behalf, should the need arise.

It is important to note that regulations for powers of attorney vary depending on situations and states. It is always recommended that both parties review power of attorney documents with a lawyer before entering into the agreement, so they understand the responsibilities, the terms under which the power is granted, and the circumstances under which it can be revoked.

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