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On powers of attorney and how they work

When you hear the phrase "power of attorney" you may mistakenly think that some attorney somewhere has control of you. However, that is a fantastical and incorrect view. Power of attorney is actually a very critical legal tool for people who organizing their estate plan. Power of attorney is a legal instrument that allows someone to act on behalf of another person so that their affairs and responsibilities are handled in case of their incapacitation or death. 

There are many different types of power of attorney that a grantor can utilize with his or her estate plan:

  • There are durable and non-durable powers of attorney. The non-durable power of attorney is usually meant for a particular purpose or it applies for a limited amount of time. In other words, it is specialized to a degree. A durable power of attorney, meanwhile, is broader in its scope and affords more decisions-making and general power to the person who acts on the grantor's behalf.
  • Special or limited powers of attorney are usually meant for one specific task, such as selling property or making a specific business deal.
  • A medical power of attorney grants someone the ability to make healthcare decisions on behalf of the grantor.
  • A springing power of attorney comes into effect at a future date or because of a specific occurrence or event.

Powers of attorney are critical pieces to the overall estate planning puzzle. If you have questions about creating or implementing a power of attorney, then you should consult with an experienced attorney.

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