You may have heard the term Power of Attorney before; but what is it, and what does it do?
Power of Attorney is a legally binding document that allows you to appoint someone to manage your property, or financial affairs. Typically, Power of Attorney is used in the event you become unable to manage your own affairs. Sometimes this can take effect immediately after the document is signed, others only take effect after you’re incapacitated.
While it may be uncomfortable to think about needing, a Power of Attorney is something that is very important to your estate planning. If you are unable to manage your affairs, due perhaps to accident or illness, a Power of Attorney Agent is able to help manage them for you.
But how are you protected?
The Power of Attorney Agent must act responsibly and practically in a way that is fair to the person whose affairs they are managing. Violating these duties can face criminal charges or can be held liable in a civil lawsuit. A Power of Attorney document is not legally binding before it’s signed and executed according to state laws. This means that no agent can make decisions on your behalf before the document goes into effect. You must also be of sound mind when you appoint an agent.
There are many types of Power of Attorney documents available and our expert lawyers at Thomason, Swanson & Zahn are here to help guide you through this process. Call us today 218-303-9549 or fill out our convenient estate planning contact form.