Instead, a POA allows you to take back control and proactively choose who YOU want to represent your best interests. By taking the time to create this important document, you can prevent both individual and familial suffering.
A General POA gives an Agent broad power to act on your behalf, taking any action or making any decision that would normally fall to you. Here is a list of some of the general powers you can grant to your Agent:
- Sell real property or tangible personal property.
- Buy and sell stocks and bonds.
- Handle all banking.
- Operate a business.
- Buy insurance and annuities.
- Manage estates, trusts, and other beneficiary interests.
- Handle all claims and litigation.
- Manage all personal and family affairs.
- Prepare and file taxes.
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).
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.