A Power of Attorney is a legal document where one party (the Principal) authorizes another party (the Agent or the Attorney-in-Fact) to act on his or her behalf during an absence.
Use a Power of Attorney to delegate to another the power to make financial decisions on your behalf. A Power of Attorney is not to be confused with a Living Will/Health Care Power of Attorney which is used to delegate to another the power to make health care decisions on your behalf.
This authority can specifically include or exclude several areas of interest, including matters of physical property, real estate, banking, insurance, tax matters, etc.
Traditionally, this authority ends when you become medically incapacitated. However, you have the option to make the Power of Attorney (1) "Durable" which means it will remain effective from the time of signing the document and if you become medically incapacitated; (recommended) or (2) "Springing" which means it will only be effective upon you becoming medically incapacitated.
You can elect which choice to make. A typical use of a Power of Attorney is to designate someone to handle your affairs while you are out of the country, or to designate someone to manage your affairs if you get sick or are unable to do so yourself.
See Frequently Asked Questions About Powers of Attorney for additional information.
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