Monday, May 13, 2013

Specific Powers Of Attorney

There are specific power of attorney that can be given to a person or company to handle the principle's affairs. Within these specific powers, there are three that are very commonly used. These are special powers, durable powers and durable health care powers.
Special Powers
Special powers is when a person is appointed to follow through on a specific task. Once the task has been completed, the power is no longer in effect. The tasks that can be completed using a special agent can include, but are not limited to: 
  • Borrowing money.
  • Debt collecting.
  • Having access to safe deposit boxes.
  • Able to handle banking transactions of all natures.
  • Able to handle government issues.
  • Decisions regarding the estate including gifting.
  • Handling financial decisions.
  • Handling business affairs.
  • Managing and dealing with real estate issues.
  • Dealing with real estate mortgages.
  • Handling personal property sales.
  • Real estate sales.
Durable Powers
Durable powers let family members handle the principle's financial dealings without going through the courts. Many times there may be a spouse, however since they are incapacitated, they may have limited rights to make decisions when there is joint property and finances. The financial powers that can be granted can include, but are not limited to: 
  • The claiming of any inheritance and other property.
  • Collecting social security and medicare benefits.
  • Pay and file taxes.
  • Hiring lawyers and court representatives.
  • Handling the investing of stocks, bonds, and mutual funds.
  • Handling and managing the principle's business affairs.
  • Handling and managing any property.
  • Handling and managing any and all retirement accounts.
  • Handle and manage transactions at the bank and any other financial institutions.
  • Pay bills and expenses.
  • Buy and sell annuities and insurance policies.
Durable Health Powers
Durable health powers is considered an advanced medical directive, since there are instructions within the document detailing what the principle wants to have done once they become incapacitated. The durable health powers do not become active until the principle has become incapacitated. Up until that point, the principle is still in control of their own medical decisions. The majority of states do allow principles to put in the documents that they do not want life sustaining procedures in the event of a terminal illness. However, regardless of what is in the power document, the appointed agent should still clearly understand what the principle wants when it comes to medical preferences.
Keep in mind, that the principle can clearly define and specifically state exactly what powers they are granting to the agent. The more specific the document is, the better. This helps to limit any confusion or issues that could arise once the principle has become incapacitated. 

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