The Importance of a Power of Attorney – Part 2
- June 21, 2011
- David Greene
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This week I’ll discuss in more detail why a general durable Power of Attorney is, indeed, important. The word “durable” refers to the fact that a general durable POA is valid even when the grantor of the power cannot act on his own. The POA is usually granted to a spouse or adult child but it can be granted to anyone you trust to handle your affairs.
A typical way it is used is when the grantor becomes incapacitated because of a stroke, an accident, etc. The attorney in fact (i.e. the grantee of the Power of Attorney) can immediately pay bills, keep a business running and perform other tasks otherwise handled by the now incapacitated person. Without the POA, Court intervention would be necessary to appoint a Conservator. Legal fees and costs to have a Conservator appointed can easily range between $1,500.00 and $2,500.00 or more. The POA an also be used when the grantor wants his Attorney in fact to act on his behalf merely for convenience.
Another type of Power of Attorney is the Special or Limited Power of Attorney. This document specifies the powers granted to the attorney in fact. A typical situation for this type of POA is when a couple is selling property and one spouse has to be out of town on the closing day. That spouse can grant the other spouse a limited POA just for he purpose of signing the closing documents.