A Power of Attorney is a legal document that is used to delegate legal authority to another. The person who signs the Power of Attorney is called the Principle. The person that is given the legal authority to act on behalf of the Principle is called an Agent or Attorney-in-Fact.
A Power of Attorney can be used in many instances. If you go on a trip abroad, you will need to leave someone behind to take care of your financial affairs- like managing your accounts or paying your bills. You would also use a Power of Attorney in the situation where you are going to have a long hospital stay. The most common use of a Power of Attorney is when you become incapacitated and are no longer able to manage your financial affairs.
If you want your Agent to have the greatest range of authority you should have a General Power of Attorney. This will allow your Agent to manage your affairs just like you would if you were able.
You should also make sure your Power of Attorney is a Durable Power of Attorney. This means that the Power of Attorney continues even after your incapacitation. Generally, unless the Power of Attorney specifically states that it is durable, it is not durable and will terminate upon your incapacity.
A properly drafted Power of Attorney is an integral part of any good estate plan.
Contributed by MH Phoenix, Arrowhead and Scottsdale Estate Planning Attorney and Partner, David T. Eastman.
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You have a number of options when it comes to estate planning, so why pick Morris Hall? First off, estate planning and asset protection are a very complicated endeavor and you should only trust someone who focuses exclusively on those matters. Also, MH is a proud member of The American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys (AAEPA) which provides us additional support, advanced training, tools and information that is not available to others – which means that we can better protect your assets and your loved ones. We are one of only two firms in Arizona that belong to the AAEPA and are the only firm in New Mexico that has been granted membership. If you have assets and loved ones that you want to protect, you are in good hands with MH. Contact us today at 888.222.1328 to schedule an appointment!
This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice, please contact an attorney in your community who can assess the specifics of your situation.