By: Rocky Mountain Wills & Trusts

What Is a Power of Attorney?

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Estate planning requires us to consider difficult subjects, such as our final days. And while many of us may understand the importance of drafting a strong will and naming our beneficiaries for when we pass on, fewer of us think about the possibility that we may need to name someone to make important legal decisions for our estates while we’re still alive.

If we ever become too sick or injured to make decisions for ourselves–from Alzheimer’s or a brain injury, for example–conflict may arise. Family members may fight amongst themselves over what is the right path of medical treatment for you. And the court may appoint someone to make financial decisions for your estate.

If you grant an individual or an institution with a durable power of attorney, they will be able to make these legal decisions for you when you are unable to. Bound to serve in the best interests of you, your estate, and its beneficiaries, your POA agent can better protect you and yours from conflict or the courts.


You may grant powers of attorney to another party if you are 18 years of age or older and are mentally competent in the eyes of the law. The document must be signed and dated, provide the names and addresses of both the agent and yourself, and be officially notarized. The document must have clear definitions of the agent’s powers and how those powers could be revoked.

A witness is not required for the signing but could provide further authentication. Additionally, a lawyer is not required but could help in making sure that the documents are valid and not full of holes.


In the state of Colorado, there are four primary types of power of attorney:

  • Financial Power of Attorney: the agent will have the power to make financial decisions on your behalf, extending, but not limited to, choices relating to real estate property.
  • Medical Power of Attorney: the agent has the ability to make decisions regarding your medical care if you are ever incapacitated.
  • General Power of Attorney: the agent is entrusted with both the responsibilities of the financial and medical POA.
  • Limited Power of Attorney: the agent is held to a customized set of parameters and powers as laid out in the document.


It is recommended that, as with all legal matters, you work with a professional to ensure that all your documents are valid and will stand up in court.

After you understand what a POA is, you must select your agent(s), then decide what authority you will trust in them. Complete the necessary legal forms and get them signed by a notary. And then, when it’s all done, file the forms with the necessary legal offices. Contact our law firm today at (720) 420-1039 to learn more about how we can help you with your situation.