Colorado Power of Attorney
A Colorado General Power of Attorney (also known as a Colorado Power of Attorney) is a legal document that enables an individual (referred to as the “Principal”) to appoint another person or an organization to act on one’s behalf to manage his or her financial affairs if the Principal is unavailable or unable to do so. The person or organization appointed is referred to as an “Attorney-in-Fact” or “Agent.”
A Colorado Power of Attorney is an inexpensive yet very flexible document used to grant another the power to handle one’s financial and legal affairs. In general, the agent has authority to do whatever the principal may do — withdraw funds from bank accounts, enter into contracts, trade stock, pay bills, cash checks — except as expressly limited in the power of attorney document. When transacting business on behalf of the Principal, the Agent must use the Principal’s finances as the Principal would use them for the Principal’s own benefit.
Without a Colorado Power of Attorney in place at the time of one’s incapacity or unavailability, a legal proceeding would need to be started to have one appointed as the Conservator to handle the exact same matters as an Agent appointed in a Colorado Power of Attorney document. In essence, a Colorado Power of Attorney helps maintain family harmony by avoiding the expense of litigation and understanding the wishes of the Principal, in advance.
Who Can Establish a Colorado Power of Attorney
Any competent adult who is eighteen years of age and older can establish a Colorado Power of Attorney.
When Does a Colorado General Power of Attorney Become Effective
A Colorado General Power of Attorney becomes effective immediately upon properly executing the document or it can “spring” into effect upon a certain occurrence. Some people are not comfortable having a Colorado Power of Attorney in effect while they are competent. Therefore, they may prefer to execute a Colorado Power of Attorney that “springs” into effect when they become mentally incapacitated or incompetent due to an accident or illness which would require a physician to certify that the Principal is mentally incapacitated or incompetent.
A Colorado General Power of Attorney that is in effect, but does not have durability language becomes void once the Principal is deemed to be mentally incapacitated or incompetent.
When Does a Colorado Power of Attorney Expire
Unless the Colorado Power of Attorney document has a specific date or condition for expiration, the document expires upon the Principal’s passing.
How is a Colorado General Power of Attorney Properly Executed
A Colorado General Power of Attorney does not require any witnesses or a notary public’s signature. However, the coloradoetrust.com provides for two witnesses and a notary public to help prevent any challenges to the document, to enable it to be recorded, if needed and to comply with state statutes in other jurisdictions.
Can a Principal Revoke or Terminate a Colorado Power of Attorney
As long as the Principal has capacity, he or she can revoke or terminate the Colorado Power of Attorney at any time. It is best for the Principal to notify the Agent of the revocation or termination in writing, as well as any institution that was aware of the Agent’s authority under the Colorado Power of Attorney.
Under Colorado law, a spouse’s appointment as an Agent is automatically terminated upon divorce. As long as the Colorado Power of Attorney has a successor agent, the Colorado Power of Attorney will remain in effect.
Who May Serve as an Agent
Any competent adult qualifies to be your Agent under a Colorado General Power of Attorney. In Colorado, for the purposes of a power of attorney document, an adult is defined as any individual who is at least 21 years old.
How Many Agents Can One Have
While it may be simpler if only one person acts as your Agent at any given time, you may have more than one Agent acting at any time
What is a Successor Agent
A successor Agent is simply an individual who would serve as an Agent if the previous choice for Agent is unable to serve due to death, incapacity, resignation or refusal to accept the office of Agent. If one is unable or unwilling to serve for any reason, the next individual in line pursuant to the terms of the document becomes the Agent.
To avoid the potential of a Conservatorship proceeding, it is important to designate a successor Agent in case a designated Agent is unable or unwilling to serve as an Agent when needed.
Is a Colorado Power of Attorney Valid in Other States
As long as the Colorado Power of Attorney was valid when executed, it is valid in every state.
Why Should One Have a Colorado General Power of Attorney
If one becomes incapacitated due to an accident or illness, an Agent can immediately begin to make decisions for the Principal without going to court to obtain a Conservatorship. By executing a Colorado General Power of Attorney, one decides in advance who will make his or her financial decisions. In so doing, one avoids a potentially expensive, public and time consuming legal proceeding that helps reduce family stress.
Does a Colorado Power of Attorney Affect or Limit a Principal’s Rights
A Colorado Power of Attorney does not affect a Principal’s rights to make any decisions. An Agent merely is authorized to act along with the Principal, pursuant to the terms of the Colorado Power Attorney document. Only a court, through a Conservatorship legal proceeding, can strip away a Principal’s rights.
Who Should Be Named as an Agent or Successor Agent of a Colorado General Power of Attorney
The pool of agents should include a competent and trustworthy individual who is at least 21 years old. Frequently, people choose a spouse, a sibling or a trusted friend. Less common, one chooses a professional fiduciary to serve as an Agent. Under either circumstance, the Principal should seek the permission of potential candidate before naming them as an Agent or successor Agent.
Where Should One Store Their Executed Colorado General Power of Attorney
After executing a CO Power of Attorney and at the bare minimum, the Principal should notify the Agent of his or her designation and store the document in a safe and easily accessible location where the Agent could easily locate it if needed. Otherwise, it is wise to provide the original with the designated Agent to avoid any unnecessary delays should its use be needed. In addition, one may want to provide copies to the institutions where it is likely to be used.
Who Qualifies as a Proper Witness
Colorado statutory law does not specify a particular age to be a witness. It is recommended that a competent adult age twenty-one and older be used as a witness.
What is a Limited Power of Attorney
A Colorado Limited Power of Attorney, also referred to as a special power of attorney, enables an Agent the power to perform a specific act or acts for the Principal. Further, a limited power of attorney is much more “limited” in scope as compared to a general power of attorney.
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