You should consider having a POA if: You travel out of the country often. You are employed in a hazardous work environment. You have been diagnosed with a serious illness. You have business or property that you would want maintained if you were unavailable. You have children that would need to be provided for if you were to become incapacitated. You want a specific person to be responsible for your affairs. You have rules about how you run your business, property, or life, and you want to ensure they are upheld. You are approaching old age and would like to designate a representative for yourself.
A Power of Attorney is a document between two parties, a principal and an agent, through which a principal can appoint someone to make financial decisions on their behalf. The principal is the person who signs the Power of Attorney and allows the agent to take over financial assets. Often, documents such as this are used when a principal is unable to make their own financial decisions, or in some cases, simply needs someone else to make such decisions for them. It is a serious document which should be entered into after much consideration.
The most important part of this document is the choice of agent. This person will be in charge of many financial assets once the principal sign sthe document. Generally, people select close family members, such as spouses or children, or long-time friends. However, any person whom a principal trusts to make the best decisions on their behalf can be chosen. Be aware that if the principal chooses a spouse and then later ends the marriage, the spouse s power will automatically terminate.
The document also automatically terminates when:
- The Principal dies.
- The Principal becomes incapacitated (if non-durable).
- The Agent dies or is declared legally incompetent and there is no successor named.
If you do decide to void a Power of Attorney, you should notify any banks, businesses, or other institutions that might be affected.