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What is a Power of Attorney?

What is a Power of Attorney?

One of the more grim aspects of your comprehensive estate plan is selecting a power of attorney. Nobody wants to think about the possibility that they may become incapacitated at some point. The fact is, though such a thing will probably never happen, why be unprepared if it does? Whether it be a medical condition, a severe injury, or the aging process itself, you may find yourself unable to care for yourself in one way or another. If you wish to learn more about the process, here are some of the questions you may have:

What is the purpose of a power of attorney?

As stated above, a power of attorney will make choices regarding your finances and otherwise that you are no longer able to make. A power of attorney can be a spouse, a family member, or a friend. However, whoever you select should be a responsible person that you trust. The person you appoint is known as your “agent.” To create a legally-enforceable power of attorney, it must be conveyed in writing and notarized. The power of attorney is gifted to them if and when the circumstances arise. Here are some of the responsibilities your agent may have to take on:

  • Making bank deposits, withdrawals, and other transactions
  • Pay bills
  • Buy and sell property
  • File medical claims
  • File tax returns
  • Deal with Social Security issues
  • Hire caretakers for in-home care
  • Obtain medical records
  • Transfer assets to a trust

What are the different types of power of attorney?

The four primary types of power of attorneys are as follows:

  • General power of attorney: A general power of attorney allows your agent to conduct the same fiscal actions you would perform, such as executing contracts, borrowing money, and filing taxes.
  • Limited power of attorney: A limited power of attorney authorizes a person to only take certain actions of your choosing. Your agent’s authority is limited to these actions alone.
  • Springing power of attorney: A springing power of attorney only becomes effective after a triggering event, such as a physical disability. 
  • Durable power of attorney: A durable power of attorney will allow your agent to act on your behalf regarding your end-of-life care. He or she can ensure that your wishes for medical care are followed. He or she may also manage your medical finances if need be.

Contact our New York firm

The Lauterbach Law Firm is proud to serve clients throughout Rockland County who are faced with legal matters related to estate planning, real estate, foreclosure defense, landlord-tenant law, business law, and criminal defense. If you require the services of an experienced team of attorneys, contact The Lauterbach Law Firm today to schedule a consultation.

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