What is a Power of Attorney and why would I want one?

A Power of Attorney is a document that allows you to name someone you trust as your “attorney” who has the legal capability of carrying out almost any legal transaction you could carry out yourself.

You can authorize your attorney to step in and help out for convenience while you remain cognitively capable of handling your own affairs or have the document effective only after you lose that capacity.

If you have not named an attorney by Power of Attorney and you lose the cognitive capacity to manage your day-to-day financial affairs like paying your bills, and the capacity to managing your investments and tend to more significant transactions, then expensive steps like the court process of appointing a “committee” will be needed for your loved ones to step in and help.

A robust form of Power of Attorney will give your attorney the ability to undertake estate planning (but cannot make your will) and tax minimization strategies on your behalf.

A Power of Attorney puts a very high level of power in your attorney’s hands. If your attorney abused that power, they could transfer all your assets out of your name.

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