Powers of Attorney are not what comes to mind for most people when thinking about their estate plan. Nevertheless, properly drafted Powers of Attorney are as important to a powerful estate plan as a Last Will & Testament or a Trust Agreement.
A Power of Attorney is a legal document that gives a designated person, called the “Agent”, the power to act for another person, known as the “Principal.”
- A Durable Power of Attorney (“DPOA”) remains in effect even if the principal becomes ill or disabled and cannot act personally.
A Power of Attorney is most often used if the principal is unable to be present to sign necessary documents or if the principal suffers a temporary or permanent illness or disability.
- A General Power of Attorney grants the agent broad powers such as handling bank accounts, signing checks, selling property, managing assets, and filing taxes for the principal.
- A Limited Power of Attorney gives the agent the power to act on behalf of the principal in specific matters or events and/or only for a specified time. For example, it might say that the agent is only allowed to manage the principal’s retirement accounts; or, if the principal will be out of the country for two years, the authorization might be effective only for that period.
- A Health Care Proxy is what we call a DPOA for Health Care. It allows the agent to make health care decisions on the principal’s behalf, listing the types of medical care decisions that the agent may make if the principal is no longer able to make those decisions for him or herself.
Now that you know about the different types of Powers of Attorney that may comprise an effective and powerful estate plan, kindly visit our website at www.EvanBenjaminLawyer.com to schedule an initial, no-cost consultation.