Introduction to Power of Attorney

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 would be unable to make these important choices for yourself.

A durable power of attorney stops a court from stepping in and taking control of your finances if you become incapacitated. Without this document, a court could appoint someone to make decisions for you.

LegalZoom makes it easy to protect yourself and your finances. Simply answer a few quick questions and we will generate a power of attorney personalized based on your answers, one that will be valid in all 50 states. In a short time, you will have the security of knowing someone you trust - and not a court - will be able to make decisions on your behalf.

LegalZoom can help you get a power of attorney to protect yourself and your family in case you become incapacitated. Fill out a few questions in our online questionnaire and we’ll assemble the documents you need and mail them to you.

 
  • 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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