Financial Powers of Attorney

Financial Powers of Attorney

A financial power of attorney gives a person you designate the authority to act on your behalf in financial matters. This can be limited to one financial transaction or certain types of transactions, or it can include all types of transactions. You will need a financial power of attorney if you want someone to be able to act for you in some or all of your financial dealings. This is usually done when you have distant or numerous financial matters to attend to and cannot be there personally to manage them.

Springing Power of Attorney

Nearly all states provide for a financial power of attorney that does not become effective until the principal becomes mentally or physically incapacitated. This document is called a springing power of attorney because it "springs" into effect upon the determination of one or more physicians that the principal has become incapacitated. This allows the principal to have a power of attorney in place for emergencies, without having to give the agent immediate authority.

  • Introduction to Power of Attorney
    A power of attorney is a document that lets you name someone to make decisions on your behalf. This appointment can take effect immediately if you become unable to make those decisions on your own. For example, if you become mentally incapacitated, or leave the country for a period of time, you...
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  • Definition of a Power of Attorney
    A power of attorney is a document you can use to appoint someone to make decisions on your behalf. The person you designate is called an "attorney-in-fact." The appointment can be effective immediately or can become effective only if you are unable to make decisions on...
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  • Durable Power of Attorney Permissions
    You can give your attorney-in-fact as many or as few powers as you want. A power of attorney can authorize your agent to do any or all of the following on your behalf:
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  • Legal Requirements for a Power of Attorney
    There are two essential elements of a valid power of attorney:
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  • Married Couples and Power of Attorney
    You should not assume your spouse will have total control of your finances if you become incapacitated. Although your spouse has some rights over property you own together, like joint bank accounts, he or she is restricted from doing certain things with that property. For example, generally both...
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  • Putting a Power of Attorney into Effect
    A durable power of attorney can be drafted so it becomes effective as soon as you sign it. Alternately, you can specify that it will not become effective unless a doctor certifies that you have become incapacitated. This is called a "springing" power of attorney. It...
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