Power of attorney is granted to an “attorney-in-fact” or “agent” to give that individual the legal authority to make decisions for an incapacitated “principal.” The laws for creating a power of attorney vary from state to state, but there are certain general guidelines to follow. Before you or a loved one signs any documents, however, be sure to consult with an attorney concerning all applicable laws and regulations.
The principal determines the amount of power given to the attorney-in-fact, and this individual can be given the authority to deal with only one particular issue (a specific power of attorney), or to handle most of the principal’s personal and financial matters (a general power of attorney). Regardless of the type of power of attorney granted, the attorney-in-fact is responsible for keeping accurate records of all transactions that he or she makes on behalf of the principal. The attorney-in-fact also is responsible for distinguishing between the types of decisions he or she has the power to make and other decisions.
There are multiple types of decisions that the attorney-in-fact can be given the power to make, including the power to:
Are you considering helping take care of a friend or family member's financial accounts? We will provide you with the proper documentation to allow you to act on behalf of them.