What is Power of Attorney?
The Power of Attorney document can be one of the most confusing and misleading legal documents in existence. Many believe the document has more to do with an attorney than an individual. While the name may be a little confusing, the Power of Attorney document can be one of the most helpful and comforting legal documents you can purchase and execute. Power of Attorney is simple. It is a written, legal document allowing an individual to authorize another individual to act on your behalf. The individual executing the Power of Attorney, commonly referred in the document as "Grantor", assigns an individual, commonly referred in the document as "Attorney-in-fact". The Power of Attorney document will remain in effect until the Grantor becomes incapacitated (no longer able to make personal decisions). In this instance, a Durable Power must be executed. Therefore, when executing a Power of Attorney, it may be helpful to also execute a Durable Power of Attorney.
This individual may be your spouse, parent, a close and trusted friend, or your private attorney. It is important to take very careful consideration when selecting an Attorney-in-fact. Prior to making your final decision, it may be helpful to privately discuss your selection with the person you have selected as your Attorney-in-fact, as well as your attorney, should you have one. You will want your selected Attorney-in-fact to be comfortable acting on your behalf, regardless of the circumstance or situation, should the need arise. Search for local law services and firms at attorneys and lawyers services with driving directions and maps. You may elect your Attorney-in-fact to have limited rights and powers relating to your private affairs. For example, you may elect your Attorney-in-fact to hold property rights and act as your Agent during the purchase or sale of real estate. A more specific example may be your mother moving out of state and requesting you act as her Attorney-in-fact at the real estate closing. In this case, you would have rights and powers specific to her property rights only. A full Power of Attorney grants all rights, powers, duties and obligations of your Attorney-in-fact to perform any business or transactions, real, personal, tangible or intangible, on your behalf. This may be related to finances, property or any other matter of a personal nature.
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You may elect to limit the time in which your Attorney-in-fact may act on your behalf. Citing the real estate example above, you may elect to grant rights to your Attorney-in-fact for any period of time, specifying the right be terminated following the execution and completion of a particular act (i.e. real estate closing).