What is a Power of Attorney?
A Power of Attorney is a legal document you use to allow another person to act for you. You create a legal relationship in which you are the principal and the person you appoint is the “attorney-in-fact” or agent. A Power of Attorney specifies the powers you give to your attorney-in-fact. The powers can be limited or broad. For example, if you are selling your house, but unable to attend the closing, you can give someone the power just to sign the deed in your absence. Most durable powers of attorney, however, give your attorney-in-fact the power to do almost anything you could do.
What powers does the agent have?
The durable financial power of attorney lists the authority that you are giving to your agent. A general power of attorney gives your agent the authority to take a wide range of actions for your benefit, such as buying and selling property, paying bills, making investments, and managing bank accounts. A power of attorney may be limited. For example, you could give your agent the authority to sign on one bank account. Most of the forms that you can buy or download are for general powers of attorney. However, the standard forms may not include powers that are important for your situation, such as the power to transfer assets to your spouse if you become ill and need Medicaid assistance or the power to pay family members who provide care. The attorneys at Orfanos & Alvarado prepare custom powers of attorney that reflect the client’s wishes and fit their circumstances, either as separate documents or as part of estate plans.