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Power of Attorney


granting or becoming a power of attorney

A Power of Attorney document is an official contract in which an individual gives authority for a person other than him or herself, to legally make decisions if he or she, for whatever reason, becomes unable to do so. The person giving permission is called that "principal" while the individual who has been appointed is the "agent" or "attorney in fact". The power of attorney agreement can be used for multiple instances such as financial and living arrangement decisions as well a those decisions concerning healthcare. The specifications having to do with how much power the agent has and if there are any time constraints are usually written in the power of attorney contract.

A durable power of attorney agreement is signed by the principal person before he or she becomes unable to make decisions and states in writing specifically what the exact stipulations for procedure are and what instances the power of attorney stays in effect.

Some privileges of a durable power of attorney are that the principal can choose their own agent as opposed to a court having to choose one and this kind of power of attorney also enable families to feel safer knowing that the choice has been made when the principal is still intellectually sound and can choose someone who is familiar to them. Persons granted with a durable power of attorney may also conduct banking, tax and stockholder transactions. They may also deal with insurance benefits and handle legal proceedings as well as collect social security for the principal.

There are some problems as to who will honor power of attorney agreements. If persons are to deal with government agencies then there are appropriate forms to be filled out and the documentation appropriately worded accompanies the forms so that those transactions can be made.