Estate Planning: Power of Attorney
This is part three in a six part series that aims to provide general information about various documents that can be helpful in Estate Planning.
Today, we’re going to discuss a tool known as a “Power of Attorney.“
What is a Power of Attorney?
This instrument grants someone the authority to act on your behalf in specified legal or financial matters. You can revoke the power at any time before you pass. You can also determine in advance what happens to the power should you become mentally incapacitated. Some people prefer that it dissolve automatically if that happens. Others want the power to remain intact.
Why should you have a Power of Attorney?
A Power of Attorney ensures someone you trust can perform important tasks on your behalf while you are still alive. So, for example, if you are stuck in an all-day meeting when your bank needs you to go to the local branch and sign some account paperwork, the person holding your Power of Attorney could go to that branch and sign that paperwork for you.
Similarly, if you are out-of-town on the deadline to cancel a real estate transaction, the person holding your Power of Attorney would be able to cancel the transaction just as if you had done so yourself. As much as anything, this instrument is a tool of convenience.