Feb 03, 2012: Power of Attorney
A durable power of attorney can be your single most important document in your estate plan, even more important than a will. A power of attorney allows a representative you trust and appoint as your agent to handle business and legal issues for you are alive but incapable of representing yourself.
Your power of attorney should be written to address your specific needs and outline what powers are granted, and what matters your agent may attend to on your behalf.Powers of Attorney
- Financial transactions
- Buying/selling real estate
- Charitable gifts
- Managing retirement/insurance
- Making medical decisions
These powers may include depositing money into your bank account, writing and issuing checks on your behalf from your account, selling your home or other real estate, and making charitable donations. The document can specify whether your agent may manage an array of important accounts such as insurance policies, IRAs or 401k’s. You can even assign your agent the authority to make medical decisions on your behalf.
Powers of attorney are far too critical to trust to a one-size-fits-all prepackaged fill-in-the-blank form. Meet with an attorney who specializes in this area of the law to ensure that you are properly prepared in the event you are incapacitated or otherwise incapable of tending to your own affairs.