A Power of Attorney is a document that allows you (the “principal”) to appoint a representative (“agent” or “attorney-in-fact”) to make certain financial decisions and conduct certain transactions on your behalf. A power of attorney can authorize an agent to handle ongoing financial needs or specific tasks, such as signing a document in your absence. Some examples of these tasks may include:
- Paying Bills
- Filing Tax Returns
- Trading Stocks
- Buying or Selling Property
- Handling Retirement Benefits
- Hiring In-Home Care
In addition to authorizing an agent to have certain financial powers, a principal can also limit the agent’s powers in a power of attorney. An effective power of attorney document should also specify when the power of attorney goes into effect, such as immediately or for a specified period or task, and when and if it expires. A “durable” power of attorney will last until it is cancelled or until the principal passes away; it is not affected by the subsequent incapacity of the principal.
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