In addition, if you ever become incapacitated, without this document, even if you have a spouse, the court may need to step in and appoint a guardian or conservator for you. The process of appointing a guardian is costly and requires the guardian to formally report your situation to the court each year. CNN Money estimates that the process of obtaining a court appointed guardian exceeds $1,000. If this is the situation you find yourself in now, please read our guide about getting guardianship over your elderly parent here.
Power of attorney, also referred to as a POA, is a legal document that allows a person (principal) to choose someone else (agent or attorney-in-fact) to represent their financial, medical, tax, vehicle, parental, or any other needs selected. The document does not need an attorney to create (although it is always advised that a person seek legal counsel) and after completion, depending on the State, signatures need to be witnessed by at least two (2) people or by a notary public (preferred).
If you decide you no longer want a Power of Attorney, you can take the following active measures to terminate it, provided you are still legally competent:
- Prepare a Revocation of Power of Attorney.
- Destroy the document.
- Follow any termination procedures detailed in the document.
A Power of Attorney is also not like a bilateral agreement, it is more of a unilateral description of what authority is permitted by the principal.
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