Power of Attorney

Your Choice

In the event that you become incapacitated…

A written document called a “power of attorney” allows you to appoint someone else to act for you. This is why having a Power of Attorney is so important. It gives you peace of mind that you are sparing your family an expensive and time-consuming court action to appoint someone to make decisions for you.

Design Your Power of Attorney to Fit Your Needs

You can select the responsibilities, or powers, you want your agent to have. You can authorize your agent to do one thing, such as sell your car. Or you can give your agent the authority to do any legal act you could do yourself.

You can give the agent a wide range of powers, such as having access to bank accounts, selling stocks, and managing real estate.

You may want your agent to sign your income tax return, apply for benefits on your behalf, or make gifts to your favorite charities. Design your power of attorney to fit your anticipated needs.

All powers of attorney come to an end at your death. Your agent will have no power to make any decisions after you die.

Are There Different Types of Powers of Attorney?

Yes. Powers of attorney can differ depending on how much responsibility you want to give and when you want the powers to begin and end.

A conventional power of attorney:

  • Begins when you sign it
  • Continues until mentally incapacitated
  • Must state when your “agent” will begin making decisions on your behalf

A durable power of attorney:

  • Begins when you sign it
  • Stays in effect for your lifetime unless you cancel it
  • Must put specific words in the document stating your agent’s power stays in effect even if you become incapacitated

A springing power of attorney:

  • Begins only when a specific event happens
  • Must be carefully drafted by your attorney to avoid any difficulty in determining when the “springing” event has happened

Who should I choose as my agent?

No one can tell you whom to choose as your agent. The number one attribute to look for is trustworthiness. Never forget that your agent must be chosen carefully. You will not be able to keep tabs on the person you choose as your agent. Between two equally qualified persons, the one who lives closer to you is generally the better choice.

Other things to remember:

  • An executor and power of attorney is not the same thing
  • You can still manage your own affairs
  • You can cancel or revoke a power of attorney at any time

More Blogs