A power of attorney is a written authorization given by one person to another to have the second person represent or act on the first person’s behalf, whether personally or in business affairs, or in some other legal capacity. The person who gives the authorization is commonly identified as the “principal” and the person who receives the authorization, is commonly referred to as the “attorney-in-fact” or “agent”.
No estate plan is complete without the use of the Durable Power of Attorney and its companion, the Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care. The Durable Power of Attorney is a document which only has affect while the estate planner (the principal) is living. It gives a designated person (the attorney-in-fact) the right to manage the principal’s financial affairs in the best interest of the principal. These powers can be very broad or narrow and can be tailored to match the particular needs of the principal. The Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care is similar to the regular Durable Power of Attorney, except that it allows the attorney-in-fact to make decisions regarding the principal’s medical care when the Principal is unable to participate in these decisions. .
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