What is a Power of Attorney?

What is a Power of Attorney?

Power of attorney is a document that authorizes someone else to make legal decisions on your behalf in the event you are unable to make them yourself – decisions and actions such as paying bills, selling real estate, accessing bank accounts, and so on. There are several different types:

> Durable Power of Attorney – The legal authority is valid after (and before if desired) you become disabled.

> Asset Protection Power of Attorney – This type of power of attorney gives your Agent the authority to protect assets, gifting, making financial decisions etc.

Bear in mind that power of attorney documents are valid when notarized. One important goal of this designation is to provide specific instructions consistent with your estate plan, so that important planning decisions you have made cannot be undone through use of Power of Attorney. The standard statutory Power of Attorney used by most lawyers are insufficient to protect your assets or to do estate planning if you become incapacitated. It is critical your Power of Attorney contain the necessary language to authorize all authority needed.

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