A power of attorney (POA) is a legal document that lets you appoint someone to handle financial and legal matters on your behalf. The person authorizing the other to act on their behalf is referred to as the principal, grantor, or donor. The person authorized to act is the agent or attorney-in-fact. With a power of attorney, the person you appoint will be legally permitted to take care of important matters for you, including paying your bills and managing your investments, if you are unable to do so for yourself. A durable power of attorney serves the same function as a power of attorney, however, a durable power of attorney is effective even if you become incapacitated.
- Let someone you trust make important financial decisions if you're unable to.
- A power of attorney is a cheaper and less stressful alternative to guardianship proceedings.
- With a plan in place, your finances stay under control if a serious illness occurs.
If you want to give your agent more control or less, or change agents entirely, you can simply fill out a new power of attorney form. We also offer a legal plan that lets you make unlimited revisions to your POA document.
Frequently Asked Questions:
When will my durable power of attorney take effect?
You can choose to have it take effect immediately. Or it can be a "springing" power of attorney that kicks in only if you become incapacitated.
Is a durable power of attorney revocable?
Yes, you can revoke it whenever you want, as long as you're mentally capable.
How much power can I grant through a POA?
Generally, you can permit your agent to make all your financial decisions. Or you can limit their powers to certain ones.
What actions can my attorney-in-fact perform?
A power of attorney lets your agent do any or all of these tasks:
- Pay for support and care
- Borrow money
- Conduct banking transactions
- Manage property
- Handle legal claims
- Access safe deposit boxes
- Deal with insurance and retirement benefits
- Exercise stockholder rights
- Contract for services
- Make gifts
- Collect social security benefits
- Any other task you need, allowed by law
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