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Power of Attorney Basics

Sometimes you need a little help making big decisions. A Power of Attorney (also known as a POA) allows you to give legal permission to someone else to act on your behalf if you're unable to write checks, sign official documents or handle other legal matters. As a business owner, you may need to empower another to sign legal documents or write checks for you. In other cases, as you get older you may foresee a time when you can't make decisions on your own. Create a Power of Attorney to assign a trustworthy person to make your legal decisions.

Use the Power of Attorney document if:

  • You want to grant authority to someone to act on your behalf in legal affairs during your absence.
  • You want to grant authority to someone to act on your behalf in legal affairs in the event you become incapacitated.
  • You want to grant authority to someone to act on your behalf in legal affairs in specific situation.

You know you'll need someone to act on your behalf for a while, but maybe not forever. You need a flexible document you can tailor to your needs. A Power of Attorney (POA) gives permission to another person or entity (your agent) to act on your behalf in legal matters.
This includes writing checks, signing official documents, or handling other legal dealings. Your agent doesn't have to be a lawyer. A Power of Attorney can be General, granting broad powers over your affairs. Or it may be Special, allowing your agent power only over specific situations. You can also choose to make this a Durable POA, meaning that your agent's powers remain in effect if you become incompetent or incapable of handling your affairs.


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