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Power of Attorney – A Brief Introduction

There is more involved in estate planning than just deciding who will get your money and assets after your death. It also involves making decisions about who will be in charge of your financial and legal affairs should you ever be incapacitated. A legal document giving another person legal authority to act for and on your behalf as if you yourself were present is known as a Power of Attorney. The person so appointed is for all purposes and intent your “agent” and he does not have to be an attorney but it is preferably a person you implicitly trust. You can find specific do-it-yourself power of attorney forms and kits by visiting the website in my biography below.
Types of Power of Attorney –
There are different types of POAs depending on the extent to which the agent is authorized. A Limited Power of Attorney gives only specific powers to the agent for a specific period of time. On the other hand a General Power of Attorney gives wider powers to your agent to virtually handle all or any aspect of any matter for and on your behalf that you would do in the course of your life.
Durable Power of Attorney: This is usually effective during the term of disability, determination of such disability being certified by a proper Doctor, authorizing the agent to generally handle financial and other specifically stated transactions on your behalf.
Limited Power of Attorney: A Limited Power of Attorney specifically mentions the acts and things your agent can carry out for and on your behalf during a specified time period or under specified circumstances and the POA stands revoked in the event of your becoming incapacitated or in the event of death.
General Power of Attorney: One needs to be cautious before granting a General Power of Attorney as this type of POA virtually assigns all powers to the agent to act for and on your behalf under virtually all circumstances and situations, being revoked only by another deed or death.
Durable Financial Power of Attorney: In this type of POA the agent has authorization to execute financial functions only when you are not in a position to do so, such as paying bills, managing property, taxation and related fiscal matters.
Springing Power of Attorney: In the event a court of law or a physician declares you mentally incompetent or incapable then a Springing Power of Attorney comes into effect. This can come into effect when you are mentally incapacitated or unable to communicate verbally or in writing which is known as the “springing event” triggering the Springing Power of Attorney. This type of POA needs careful consideration. The main disadvantage of this type of POA is that unless and until all documents have been signed declaring you mentally incompetent or otherwise incapable, your agent cannot proceed to do anything on your behalf.
Healthcare Power of Attorney and Living Wills: In the event you are unable to communicate instructions about your health care and treatment and about who should be the person to treat you then your agent is authorized by this type of POA to make decisions on your behalf.
Living Will: In case of imminent death this type of POA executed beforehand makes it much easier for medical personnel and healthcare agents to carry out your wishes about life support and medical treatments and since you are in proper control of your senses you can always override the decision of your agent or revoke this type of POA.

Article Source: http://freelegalinformation.info

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