Power of Attorney

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Power of Attorney: A legal document that permits another individual to legally act on your behalf while you are still alive.

By signing a POA, you share the full force of your signature and/or decision-making capacity with another person and whatever that person does under the authority of that POA carries the full weight of the law.

A POA is arguably the most powerful instrument that you can create and is especially important in estate planning. You may revoke a POA as long as you are competent to do so.

Everyone over the age of 18 should have a Power of Attorney to avoid the need for court ordered Guardianship proceedings should he or she become mentally or physically disabled.

Glossary of Power of Attorney (POA) Terms:

Agent: The person or persons that the principal names to act on his/her behalf.

Durable POA: A POA that is effective when it is signed and given to the Agent and lasts indefinitely unless it is rescinded or its purpose accomplished.

General POA: A POA that gives the principal’s representative all rights that he/she retains for him/her self. A General POA should only be signed when the principal trusts the agent fully and is sure that they will act in the principal’s interest.

Health Care POA: A POA that give someone permission to make medical decisions for you if you are unable to make those decisions yourself.

Limited POA: The power only lasts for a limited period of time or for a specific purpose.

Principal: The individual who prepares and signs the POA.

Springing POA: A POA that does not go into effect until the principal becomes disabled as defined in the POA.