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Most people find themselves at a loss when legal matters arise. This is hardly surprising considering that the law itself is a diverse field that branches out into several different sub-disciplines. It is only natural for one to be overwhelmed by it. This blog will help you with that.

 

 

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Power of Attorney – What To Know

A power of attorney or a letter of attorney is a legally binding document that gives someone else the power to control your affairs in the case that you are unable to. As the person who grants someone else this power, you are known as the principal, while the person you give this power to is called the attorney-in-fact or agent.

A letter of attorney can come into effect immediately or at a later stipulated time.

Types

1. Durable power of attorney
This letter of attorney allows your agent to take control of all of your affairs and is effective even when the principal party becomes incapacitated. It, however, expires upon the death of the principal.

2. Non-durable power of attorney
This type of letter of attorney is usually applicable for a certain transaction and becomes ineffective when the transaction is complete. It loses its power in the case that the principal becomes incapacitated or dies.

3. Special/ limited power of attorney
As its name suggests, this letter of attorney is limited to a certain act. This is usually employed in the case of one-time financial transactions. The power of the agent comes to an end upon the completion of the transaction.

4. Health care power of attorney or health care proxy
In this case the agent has the right to make medical decisions for the principal. This includes decisions in matters of life termination. However, the principal reserves the right to modify the power of the agent to make such decisions.

5. Springing power of attorney
This is a letter of attorney that only comes into effect once a certain event occurs. This event can be disability or any other form of incapacitation. This power of attorney can either be non- durable or durable in nature and is crafted by the principal to suit his needs.

Why get a power of attorney?

The most appealing thing about getting a letter of attorney is that in the case that you are in any way incapacitated, a loved one will be able to sign documents, send gifts and even access your bank account on your behalf.

In the case that you have no power of attorney, the loved one will have to petition a court to be appointed to be your guardian. Needless to say, this is an expensive venture that would best be avoided.

Getting a letter of attorney

If you have decided to get a letter of attorney, standardized power of attorney forms are available at US LegalForms or at your lawyer’s office.

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