A power of attorney (POA) is a legal document giving one person the power to act for another person). This agent can have broad legal or limited authority to make decisions about the principal’s property, finances, or medical care. The power of attorney is frequently used in the event of a principal’s illness or disability, or when the principal can’t be present to sign necessary documents for financial transactions.
POWER OF ATTORNEY
BASICALLY, THERE ARE TWO TYPES OF POA:
- Financial POA to handle all financial affairs, bills, expenses, realestate, businesses, etc.
- Medical POA to handle all medical and health care decisions.
IF A POA IS NEEDED THEN ONE OF TWO THINGS MUST HAPPEN:
- You placed someone you know and trust as your POA in advance. (I really hope you have this now! If not please contact us now. This is a big part of your estate plan we handle for you.
- The courts will appoint a POA for you. This can wind up being an independent court appointed representative or a family member. Unfortunately they may not honor your wishes based on what they feel or think is best “for you”.
A power of attorney is void upon your death and also upon your disability unless you direct that it be effective in the event of your disability (a durable power of attorney). You may combine the characteristics you need into one power of attorney.
It’s a good idea to update your power of attorney about every 2-3 years. Most banks look at an older power of attorney as being “stale” and will not honor your power of attorney if it is too old. Some banks even require that a power of attorney be on their own pre-printed form and not be older than 1-2 years. Check with your own bank regarding their requirements.