The Importance of “Scope”

If you’ve ever peered through a microscope, a telescope, or a pair of binoculars, then you have witnessed the miracle of magnification. When you are able view things up close, you notice details that you otherwise may never see.

Part of our job is to notice details, determine the very specific legal needs of our clients, and focus the “scope” of a legal document to address those needs in the most comprehensive way possible.

Here’s an example:

An elderly person with a life-altering diagnosis comes to us, requesting that we draft a Durable Business Power of Attorney, authorizing a trusted person to handle finances.  The “default” statutory rules under Indiana law work pretty well to allow the agent to pay bills, manage investments, pay taxes, etc.

But, for this client, statutory powers may not be enough if the agent needs to help the principal plan for a long term health care need, which typically requires extraordinary authority (such as making gifts or investing in certain types of assets.)  In order to cover these needs, an “expanded scope” POA would be especially helpful to allow the client’s response team to conduct appropriate public benefits planning if the need arises.

Let us know if you need help focusing.