Because a power of attorney is such a common, and versatile, estate planning tool the chances are good that you already know what one is. You may even already have one included in your estate plan for one reason or another. A POA’s versatility, however, can also lead to a certain degree of confusion with regard to which type of POA should be used and when a POA is the best choice for the specific goal. For example, people often use a durable power of attorney for property as part of their overall estate plan; however, there are other estate planning tools that could be used to achieve the same objective as a durable POA. Understanding the advantages and disadvantageous of a durable power of attorney for property in Quad Cities can help you decide if one is right for your estate plan.
The basic concept behind a power of attorney is simple. The principal, or person who executes the POA, grants an agent the legal authority to act on behalf of the principal. The authority granted by the principal in a POA can be very broad as is the case in a general POA or very narrow as is the case in a limited POA. A POA can be used, for instance, to grant an agent authority to act on your behalf in transactions relating to real property. With this type of limited POA you could grant an agent the legal authority to sell, lease, or encumber your home, for example.
A limited POA for property is most often included as part of an incapacity plan within your overall estate plan. To get the true benefit from the POA though you need to make it durable. Making any POA durable simply means that the authority you grant in the POA will survive your incapacity. So if you execute a durable POA for property and name your spouse as the agent, for example, your spouse will then have control over the property if you suddenly become incapacitated as the result of a catastrophic accident or illness.
Durable Power of Attorney for Property in the Quad Cities
The primary advantage to using a durable POA for property is that is avoids the need to seek a court order if someone needs to step in an exert control over property after your sudden incapacity. Before you settle on a POA, however, consult with your estate planning attorney about other options such as the creation of a revocable living trust.
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