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Power of Attorney


A Power of Attorney (POA) is a legal document that empowers someone, called an agent or attorney-in-fact, to act on behalf of another person, the principal.  The POA grants the agent the authority to make decisions about the principal's finances, property, or medical care, depending on the kind of POA created.

There are various types of POAs, each serving a specific purpose:

·         General power of attorney: This grants broad authority to the agent to handle a wide range of the principal's affairs,  such as managing bank accounts, selling property, or filing taxes.

·         Limited power of attorney: This restricts the agent's authority to specific tasks, such as cashing a particular check or representing the principal at a closing.

·         A durable power of attorney (POA) remains valid even if the principal becomes incapacitated. It's especially important for

planning ahead for situations where the principal might be unable to make decisions for themselves in the future.

·         Springing power of attorney: This POA takes effect only upon the occurrence of a future event,  often when the principal is no longer mentally competent.

Here are some key things to consider about POAs:

·         Power of attorney vs. healthcare directive: A healthcare directive focuses specifically on medical decisions, while a POA can encompass a wider range of matters.

·         State-specific regulations: POAs are legal documents and requirements can vary by state. It's advisable to consult with an attorney to ensure your POA complies with your state's laws.

·         Choosing an agent:  Select someone you trust completely, someone responsible and who understands the scope of the authority you're granting them.

Overall, a power of attorney is a valuable tool for ensuring your affairs are handled according to your wishes in case you're unable to do so yourself.  However, due to the legal implications, it's wise to seek professional guidance from an attorney when creating a POA.

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