A power of attorney is a legal document used to delegate legal authority to another person. The person who signs a power of attorney, the Principal, gives legal authority to another person, an Agent or Attorney-in-Fact, to make financial and other legal decisions for the Principal. A Principal can give an Agent broad legal authority or very limited authority. Often, the power of attorney document is used in the event of the Principal is incapacitated by illness or injury.
Another frequent use of the Power of Attorney occurs when the principal cannot be present to sign necessary legal documents. There are two main forms of power of attorney used:
- Non-Durable Power of Attorney
A "Non-durable" power of attorney is often used for a specific transaction, such as the closing on the sale of residence, or the handling of the Principal's financial affairs while the Principal is traveling outside of the country.
- Durable Power of Attorney
A "durable" power of attorney enables the Agent to act for the Principal even after the Principal is not mentally competent or physically able to make decisions. The "Durable" power of attorney may be used immediately, and is effective until it is revoked by the Principal, or until the Principal's death.
A power of attorney must be created and executed properly in order to be effective and binding. Attorney Chris Cox has almost 30 years of estate planning law experience. He can advise which type of power of attorney is best for your specific situation as well as help you create a sound strategy for managing your estate.
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