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2 Shapes and Sizes of Powers of Attorney

, • POSTED ON: May 4, 2019

Powers of Attorneys come in all shapes and sizes. Making sure yours “fits” is essential to ensuring your loved ones have the tools they need to stay out of the courtroom.  

There are 2 different shapesof Powers of Attorneys:

  1. Your Healthcare Power of Attorney, which gives you the ability to name someone to make your health care decisions for you in the event you are not able to make them yourself.  
  2. Your Property Power of Attorney, which gives you the ability to name an agent to act on your behalf over your financial assets in the event you are not able to act yourself. Property Powers of attorney use different names and are sometimes referred to as a financial power of attorney or a durable power of attorney.

Today, we are going to discuss the different sizes of Property Powers of Attorney and when they fit best. 

Limited. A limited power of attorney gives your agent the ability to act on your behalf for a singular purpose. It is usually set up with a short and very specific end date. You also have the power to revoke a limited power of attorney at any time as you are usually not incapacitated.

Best Fit? When you need to be two places at once. Often used between spouses when signing for real property transactions or to allow someone to complete a closing for real estate on your behalf on a day you are out of town.  Voting Proxies are also forms of Limited Powers of Attorney.

General. A general power of attorney is more comprehensive and gives your named agent the ability to act in any manner as if they were you—they step into your shoes so to speak. General powers of attorney are usually perpetual and meant to last until your death. Powers of attorney do end at your death, unless revoked earlier while you are still legally competent.

Best Fit? When you are ensuring your loved ones have a way to help you pay your bills, sign documents, conduct financial transactions, during a period of your incapacity, whether you are permanently or temporarily disabled. They are also used by elderly individuals to give an agent the ability to help them with their financial transactions when they no longer wish to carry that responsibility, even if they are still legally competent. 

Powers of attorney are useful tools, but do not rely on them for everything. They should be employed as part of a more comprehensive estate plan to ensure your loved ones are actually able to help you when life-changing events occur. If you need a power of attorney or want to know if you have the right power of attorney in place, book a call. We are happy to provide a no cost review. 605-702-4997.

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