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 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.
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.
To choose an attorney-in-fact, you must consider your options carefully. Aside from your personal preferences, there are also legal requirements for who you select. Your attorney-in-fact may not: Be under the age of majority in your state. Currently be in a state of bankruptcy. Be the owner or employee of a care home where the principal resides or receives treatment.