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Why You should have A Durable Power of Attorney?

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A POWER OF ATTORNEY (POA) is a document wherein the person who draws the document (called principal) authorizes another person (called agent or attorney-in-fact) to act in behalf of the principal. Although some states allow combining power of attorneys for health and financial matters, yet, it always better to draw two separate documents.

Most common power of attorney authorizes an agent to act in behalf of the principal to carry on functions such as to:

Draw checks on specified bank accounts for specified purposes and amounts.
Append signatures to routine correspondence.
Act as a signatory to real estate closings.
Buy and sell financial securities.

(Please also look at the sample form provided at the end for more details and functions.)

POA drawn for the above and other such matters is usually drawn by a principal for convenience or other consideration. Such POAs expire after the time and the purpose for which they were written have been met. They are thus not considered "durable" POAs.

A Durable POA is one that remains in force even after the principal loses mental capacity. Unless a POA is "durable", it will become ineffective at the time the principal becomes incompetent. However, POA drawn for health reasons or when persons would lose mental capacity to handle his/her financial and/or health matters. Yet when does a persons has the mental capacity or loses it is a tricky question. One often reads stories challenging such ability in high-profile cases.

A POA which is not "durable" fails to protect the principal against the potential of his/her family having to go to court and get a guardian appointed over the assets or medical issues.

The first requirement of a durable POA is that there be a written document and, secondly, the document contains words which clearly indicate that the principal intended the POA to be effective even after he or she became incapacitated.

With age as health changes, one might reconsider revising the elements of one's POA. You can change your mind about your advance directives at any time. One should also discuss with family and physicians whether you'd like to donate your organs, eyes and tissues for transplantation or your body for scientific study.

Even if a state does not require a POA to be notarized it is highly recommended that one should do so. The above information is strictly for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon as legal advice. In matters of importance and of legal nature it always recommended to consult an attorney.

click here for free  sample durable power of attorney.

 

 

 

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