A power of attorney in the Quad Cities, when used appropriately, can be a powerful legal instrument. In fact, many people choose to include one or more powers of attorney in their comprehensive estate plan. To get the most out of a power of attorney is essential to understand exactly what a power of attorney can and cannot do. It is also important to understand how an agent uses a power of attorney.
A power of attorney is created when the principal, or person granting the authority, gives an agent the legal authority to act on the principle’s behalf. The authority that the principal grants can be very broad in the case of a general power of attorney or can be extremely narrow in the case of a limited POA. In addition, there are specialized powers of attorney such as a POA for healthcare that grants an agent broad powers but only in a specific area. In addition, it is a Wharton to understand what it means when a POA is made “durable”. Traditionally, a power of attorney would terminate upon the incapacity of the principal-precisely when most people want a POA to be effective. For this reason, the law created the “durable” power of attorney which is simply a POA that survives the incapacity of the principal.
Typically, all an agent needs to do to exercise the powers granted in a power of attorney is show the document to anyone involved in the proposed transaction. For example, imagine that your brother granted you a limited power of attorney to attend the closing of the sale of his home on his behalf. While it is certainly a good idea to let the parties involved in the transaction know ahead of time that you will be sitting in for your brother, legally all that is really required is that you show up with the original signed power of attorney document. The requirement that the signature of the principal be notarized is would typically serves as proof that an agent does, indeed, have the principle’s authority.
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