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Do I Need a Power of Attorney?

When it comes to the legal world, there are quite a lot of terms that seem unfamiliar to many people. Power of Attorney, for instance, can be one of the confusing terms you may hear in the legal field. However, this legal document plays a vital role in our lives, especially if you have aging parents or are aging yourself.

What is a Power of Attorney?

A Power of Attorney (POA) is a legal document that allows someone else to act on your behalf when making financial decisions or handling legal matters. This person, also known as your Attorney-in-Fact, will have the power to access your bank accounts, manage your property, pay your bills, and sign legal documents on your behalf. A POA can be granted for short-term or long-term periods, depending on your needs and requirements.

When is a POA needed?

There are various situations when a POA can come in handy. For example, if you travel abroad for an extended period, a POA can allow someone to handle your finances, pay bills, and manage property in your absence. Similarly, if you are aging and don't want to manage your finances or legal issues, you can appoint someone you trust as your Attorney-in-Fact and let them handle everything on your behalf. Lastly, become incapacitated or unable to make decisions for yourself. A POA can help ensure that the decisions taken on your behalf are in line with your wishes and preferences.

What Are The Types of POA?

There are two types of Power of Attorney: General and Specific. A General POA gives the Attorney-in-Fact broad powers to act on behalf of the Principal (the person who grants the POA) in various matters. On the other hand, a Specific POA limits the Attorney-in-Fact to specific issues outlined in the POA document, such as paying bills, making medical decisions, or selling real estate. Another type of POA is a Durable POA, which remains valid even if the Principal becomes incapacitated or unable to make decisions for themselves.

Why is POA Essential?

One of the biggest reasons why a POA is important is because it ensures that your wishes are respected, even if you are unable to make decisions for yourself. Additionally, a POA can help avoid legal disputes and conflicts between family members, especially when there is uncertainty about the wishes of the person in question. Lastly, having a POA in place can give you peace of mind and reduce stress for your loved ones, knowing that someone you trust is taking care of your finances and legal affairs.

How to Get a POA?

Getting a POA is a straightforward process. You can consult with an attorney or use online services like LegalZoom to create a POA document that outlines your wishes. Once you have created the document, you must sign it in the presence of a notary public or attorney to make it legally binding. It's important to note that a POA can be revoked at any time as long as the Principal is mentally competent.

Experienced Rockford Attorneys

At Reno & Zahm LLP, our experienced attorneys can guide you through the process of creating a Power of Attorney that suits your unique needs and circumstances. Contact us today at (815) 987-4050 to learn more about how we can assist you.

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