Powers of Attorney

A Power of Attorney (POA) can be a very powerful tool. During my time in the military, we frequently had our deploying Airmen use this tool so that their spouse or trusted friend could take care of their affairs while the Airmen were deployed to hostile areas around the globe.

A POA can be either a General POA or a Special POA. A General POA allows a person to do almost anything on behalf of another person that the person granting the POA could do for themselves. A Special POA allows the person with the POA to do a specific act for the person granting the POA, such as buy a home, a car, or care for one’s children.

When given a POA, you will need to make copies of the document. Present it to the bank or other institution for which you are trying to conduct business on behalf of the individual who gave you the POA. The business or entity may decide to accept or reject the POA. If they accept it, make certain they retain a copy of the POA and that you always retain the original. If they reject the POA, ask them what documentation they require to act on the other person’s behalf and, if necessary, contact an attorney to assist you in getting the proper documentation prepared.

A POA is a powerful tool and remains one of the key documents in a fully-developed Estate Plan.

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