By Abigail Neal, Scottsdale Estate Planning Lawyer
What Is A Durable Power of Attorney?
First, what is a Power of Attorney? A Power of Attorney is a legal document you create (you’re called the principal) in which you give authority to a person (or multiple persons acting jointly) to act on your behalf if you cannot do so yourself. The person given the authority is called your agent. Your Durable Power of Attorney can give your agent a broad range of powers, and may allow your agent to do anything that you could have done yourself if you were able. This includes managing your finances, assets and business.
What Kind Of Powers Does A Durable Power Of Attorney Grant?
Your Durable Power of Attorney grants your agent the authority to perform everyday actions such as banking, selling property, entering contracts, completing and signing tax returns, retrieving and opening mail, etc. It is important that you understand that your Durable Power of Attorney can be a very comprehensive document which grants to your agent significant and important powers. As such, be sure to an agent that you trust completely. Also, if you get divorced and had named your spouse as your agent, be sure to update your Durable Power of Attorney!
When we draft a Durable Power of Attorney, we include the following powers:
•power to sell property;
•power to buy property;
•power to invest;
•power to manage real property;
•power to manage tangible personal property;
•power to disclaim or release property interests;
•power to protect or dispose of property;
•power to operate businesses;
•power to manage partnership interests;
•power to buy, sell and exchange securities;
•power to collect and settle your obligations;
•power to prosecute and defend legal actions;
•power to commence court proceedings;
•power regarding retirement plans and other employee benefits;
•power regarding governmental benefits;
•power to spend down assets as allowed by ALTCS qualification rules;
•power regarding bank accounts;
•power regarding safe-deposit boxes;
•power to access internet accounts;
•power to loan and borrow;
•power to renounce or resign from fiduciary positions;
•power regarding insurance;
•power regarding taxes;
•power to provide for your support;
•power to deal with your spouse;
•power to provide for support of dependents;
•power to care for your pets
•power to provide for your recreation and travel;
•power to provide for companionship;
•power to provide for religious and spiritual needs;
•power to make advance funeral arrangements;
•power to sign documents;
•power to submit costs for payment;
•power regarding memberships;
•power to employ and discharge personnel;
•power regarding custody of documents; and
•power regarding your mail.
Hire Powers & Neal To Prepare Your Durable Power of Attorney
We can prepare your Durable Power of Attorney on its own or as part of a complete estate plan package. Learn more about our flat fee estate plans. Although we urge everyone to consider a creating a comprehensive estate plan, we recognize that sometimes you may only need one or two documents.
Learn more about Powers & Neal’s estate planning services.