Are you concerned about what would happen to your affairs if you became incapacitated or unable to handle them yourself? Have you considered the benefits of having someone you trust to act on your behalf?

A power of attorney (POA) is a legal document that authorizes someone you trust to act on your behalf. From financial choices to medical care, having a power of attorney gives you peace of mind, knowing that your affairs will be handled by the one of your choosing.

Get Support from a Cape Girardeau, MO, Power of Attorney

Do you need a power of attorney in Cape Girardeau, MO? At Birk Law Firm, we can provide the necessary support. Our experienced attorneys can assist in drafting your POA and ensure it is legally binding and enforceable.

We offer personalized services, including education on the different types of POAs, drafting the POA to suit your specific circumstances, protecting your assets, and periodic review to ensure it meets your current needs.

Our lawyers know the legal requirements for creating a POA and will ensure that your POA complies with relevant state or federal laws. With our help, you can be confident that your POA accurately reflects your wishes and protects your interests.

Speak to a Birk Law Firm power of attorney lawyer today at 573-332-8585 to learn more about how we can help you.

What Is a Power of Attorney (POA)?

A POA is a legally binding document that allows one person (the “principal”) to give another person or persons (the “agent” or “attorney-in-fact”) the authority to act on their behalf.

This power can be as broad or as limited as the principal desires. A well-written power of attorney is a useful legal document for enabling another person to handle an individual’s affairs without resorting to more complex arrangements, such as a trust or a court-appointed guardian, which can strip the individual of some or all of their decision-making authority.

For you to get a well-written POA that conveys what you want, it is recommended that you seek the help of an estate planning attorney who can offer advice and draft the document.

Types of Power of Attorney

There are different types of POA, each with a unique purpose. The most common types of POA include:

  • General power of attorney
  • Limited power of attorney
  • Durable power of attorney
  • Springing power of attorney
  • Medical or health power of attorney.

Let’s look at each in turn.

General Power of Attorney

This broad POA grants the agent the ability to act on behalf of the principal in all issues. Your agent can handle your accounts, pay bills, sign checks, sell property, manage assets, file taxes on your behalf, and make legal choices. This POA might be useful when the principal cannot manage their affairs due to illness, accident, or other circumstances.

Limited Power of Attorney

This grants your agent the power to act on your behalf for a detailed purpose or period. This type of POA is often used for short-term transactions or specific events and can be useful for situations where the principal cannot manage a specific matter independently.

For example, if you travel abroad, you can grant a Limited POA to someone who can manage your finances while you are away. A Limited POA is also useful when you need someone to handle a specific legal matter, such as selling a property or signing a contract.

Durable Power of Attorney (DPOA)

DPOA is a type of POA that remains in effect even if the principal becomes mentally incapacitated or unable to make decisions. The agent will remain in control of certain legal property or financial matters written in the agreement.

The DPOA can be useful when the principal is at risk of losing their capacity to make decisions due to illness or injury. While the agent can pay medical bills on the principal’s behalf, the durable agent can’t make certain decisions, such as taking the principal off life support.

Springing Power of Attorney

A Springing Power of Attorney, also known as a Conditional Power of Attorney, is a frequently requested legal document during estate planning. It only becomes effective once the principal loses capacity, and it’s a popular choice because it allows individuals to have something in place for future use without giving up control in the present.

However, it’s important to note that Springing POAs can pose difficulties. The primary concern is proving incapacitation, which may require a court order and be a lengthy process during a time-sensitive period.

Medical or Health Power of Attorney

A Medical or Health POA grants the agent the power to make decisions on the principal’s behalf in case of an unfortunate medical condition. Typically, health POAs are considered durable, as they acknowledge that the principal may be incapacitated and unable to make their own decisions.

Before choosing an agent, the principal should seek legal advice. It’s also beneficial for the principal to have an attorney guide them through the entire process of notarizing a power of attorney to ensure that the document accurately reflects their wishes.

What Does a Power of Attorney Do?

When you create a POA, you give someone else the power to act on your behalf. This person is your agent, and they can be given broad or limited authority depending on the type of POA you create.

Once you have chosen your agent and determined the scope of their authority, you must sign a power of attorney in the attendance of a notary public. This is important to ensure that the POA is legally binding and enforceable.

Once the POA is in effect, your agent can act on your behalf in the specific areas outlined in the POA. Additionally, a Power of Attorney can be revoked anytime if you can still make decisions.

Power of Attorney vs. Guardianship

Power of attorney and guardianship are both legal arrangements that authorize one person to act on another’s behalf. However, they differ in several crucial ways.

In a POA, one person grants another authority to make decisions for them. A POA can only occur if the person granting another authority is of sound mind, understands what they are requesting, and explains their wishes coherently.

In guardianship, the court chooses a “guardian” for someone who cannot decide for themselves. The court may order a guardianship due to a mental or physical illness if the person is a minor or if, for some other reason, they cannot manage their affairs.

How Can a Birk Law Firm Power of Attorney in Cape Girardeau, MO, Help You Get a POA

Working with a lawyer can be extremely helpful when getting a Power of Attorney. At Birk Law Firm, our experienced attorneys can help guide you through the process and ensure your POA is legally binding and enforceable. Here’s how our lawyers help:

  • Understanding Your Needs: Our lawyers will educate you on the different types of POAs available and which best suits your needs. They will also explain the legal requirements for creating a POA and ensure that your POA is legally valid and enforceable.
  • Drafting the POA: Our lawyers will draft a POA personalized to your circumstances. They will ensure the POA is clear, comprehensive, and legally binding. This can help to avoid any potential disputes or confusion down the line.
  • Protection: Our lawyers will ensure that your POA adequately protects you and your assets. This will include adding provisions to prevent abuse or misconduct by your agent, ensuring that your agent has appropriate liability insurance coverage, and ensuring that your POA complies with relevant state or federal laws.
  • Reviewing and Updating the POA: Our lawyers will review your POA periodically to ensure that it is up-to-date and continues to meet your needs. If there are any changes in your life, such as marital status or a significant change in your financial situation, our lawyers will help you update your POA to reflect these changes.

Contact a Birk Law Firm Lawyer Today

Are you prepared for the unexpected? The future is uncertain, but we can proactively safeguard ourselves and our loved ones. Take charge of your future by appointing an agent to make critical decisions on your behalf in case of incapacity. Establishing a Power of Attorney can put your mind at ease and ensure your wishes are carried out if you cannot make decisions.

Birk Law Firm understands the importance of protecting your future. Our experienced team can guide you through setting up a Power of Attorney tailored to your needs and preferences. We’ll work with you to ensure your wishes are reflected, giving you peace of mind and a sense of security for the future.

To talk to a power of attorney lawyer in Cape Girardeau, contact Birk Law Firm at 573-332-8585. We’re here to help safeguard your future.


Can You Give Power of Attorney to Multiple People?

Yes, but it’s important to specify the scope of their authority and applicable limitations or conditions. You can appoint multiple agents to act jointly, meaning that they must make decisions together, or you can appoint them to act independently, meaning they can make decisions separately.

Can My Choice for Power of Attorney Be Questioned?

Yes, your choice of Power of Attorney may be questioned. For example, if you are incapacitated and someone believes your agent is acting improperly or not in your best interests, they may challenge your POA in court. Additionally, if your POA was created when you were not of sound mind or there is evidence of coercion or fraud, your POA may be questioned or invalidated.

Can My Next of Kin Override a Power of Attorney?

No. Next of kin cannot override a valid POA. Your agent’s authority is legally binding as long as the POA was created while you were of sound mind and not under duress. However, if there is evidence that the agent is acting improperly or not in your best interests, a court may intervene and appoint a guardian or conservator instead.

How Can I Withdraw the Power of Attorney I Have Given to Somebody?

If you specifically revoke the power of attorney, it will be terminated. The POA may also include a termination date or the time it will be in effect. Unless it is a permanent power of attorney, it will likewise terminate if you become mentally incapable. All powers of attorney cease if you die.

Who Can Be My Power of Attorney?

You can name anyone to have Power of Attorney (POA) as long as they are over the age of 18 and are legally competent to act on your behalf. Some common choices for POA include a spouse, children, sibling, close friend, or trusted advisor.

Choosing someone responsible, trustworthy, and capable of making decisions on your behalf is important. You can also choose your lawyer to be your POA.


Why Choose Birk Law?

Birk Law Firm is a small firm by choice that is big on client services. Attorney Kelvin Birk and his team are responsive to their clients’ needs. When we sign on as your law firm, you can count on us for strong legal counsel, from negotiations to settlement to trial.

Cape Girardeau Law Firm Kelvin BirkOur clients benefit from the intertwining of Kelvin Birk’s legal and CPA background and experience. We provide well-rounded advice to solve both legal and financial issues and to come up with creative solutions. We use modern technology to deliver legal services in a more efficient and client-focused manner than was previously possible.

We provide personalized and compassionate service. We believe that each client’s matter is the most important matter in the world to them, and we strive to treat it that way.


Contact Kelvin Birk