Law on a Budget: Cease and Desist Letters and Powers of Attorney

~ Written by Erica J. Erwin ~


This Blog/Web Site is made available by the lawyer or law firm publisher for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. By using this blog site you understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and the Blog/Web Site publisher. The Blog/Web Site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state.

When I have folks come to me on a budget, and I have to navigate the best way I can help them, I ask: What could we do here with a Cease and Desist Letter or a Power of Attorney?

These two things can help in a LOT of different situations, allow people to sleep better at night, and should not cost more than $200-$300 flat fee from a reasonable attorney (perhaps even less if accompanied with ongoing legal representation).

A “Cease and Desist Letter” is a scary – but sometimes hilarious – document written by an attorney, on behalf of a client, sent to an individual or business to stop (and never do again) purportedly illegal activity. The “cease” means to stop, and “desist” means to not do again. A cease and desist letter can be used to navigate:

  • Intellectual Property Disputes
  • Nuisance Claims
  • Harassment
  • In lieu of full-on litigation

On the other end of the spectrum, a “Power of Attorney” is written authorization to represent or act on behalf of someone in personal, legal, or business situations. They are often effective in the following situations:

  • Dealing with family in a different state/country
  • Taking care of your business
  • Healthcare designations if you become incapacitated or sick
  • Dealing with an incapacitated or deceased parent’s finances (should be created by them before their death)
  • Appointing a guardian for kids if you die
  • In lieu of an expensive will or trust

As I’m a firm believer that legal aid should be more accessible, knowledge of these two documents has been amazingly helpful and cost-effective for some of my clients. 

In that vein, I would love to know from readers: Are there other tips and tricks you have found to be particularly effective? What have you done in the past in hairy situations?

Of course you should ALWAYS consult an attorney in your state about how to draft a properly-worded document. Nothing stated above should be interpreted as legal advice, or should be applied to a particular situation without first consulting an attorney.

Have a good day everyone!

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