Question: Would you please provide us with some information about Powers of Attorney?
A Power of Attorney is a document in which you can appoint an agent to make financial transactions on your behalf if you are not present to make these transactions.
A Power of Attorney is in effect only during your lifetime. An Executor takes over the management of your estate upon your death. You name the Executor in your Will.
A durable Power of Attorney states that the Power will be in force even if you become subsequently become disabled.
The Power of Attorney form is a form that must be signed before a Notary Public.
The form lists the areas of authority that you delegate. These include real estate transactions, banking transactions and insurance transactions, to name a few. However, the Power of Attorney does not in itself authorize the agent to make unlimited gifts.
A Power of Attorney can be personalized to indicate the authority to make gifts and the limits, if any, on this authority.
A general Power of Attorney must be honored by banks. However, they sometimes are reluctant to honor them, so if you can sign the bank form, it is often easier for the agent to make transactions later on.
You should appoint only someone whom you trust explicitly. You may also appoint two people acting together as an additional safeguard.
The joint accounts should be able to be accessed without the Power, but for real estate, a Power of Attorney will be needed.
10. Can I appoint my agent so that he or she has authority only if I become incapacitated?
The Power of Attorney is not valid for an agent appointed until he or she has signed the Power of Attorney before a Notary Public. You may execute the Power of Attorney but not have your agent sign until you are incapacitated.
If you need help with this or other elder care / senior care legal matters, you can find thousands of Elder Care Professionals from across America on ElderCareMatters.com – America’s National Directory of Elder Care / Senior Care Resources for Families.
You can also find Elder Law Attorneys on ElderLawAttorneys.us and Estate Planning Attorneys on EstatePlanningAttorneys.us – 2 additional websites sponsored exclusively by the national ElderCare Matters Alliance.
Joan Lensky Robert, Esq.
Kassoff, Robert & Lerner, LLP
Rockville Centre, New York
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