August 01, 2016 Feature

Powers of Attorney

Sheila-Marie Finkelstein

A power of attorney is a legal document an individual can use to give another person (or persons) the authority to take agreed-upon actions on the individual’s behalf. The individual granting the authority is the “principal,” and the person acting on behalf of the principal is the “agent.” Depending on the terms of the document, the power may be effective immediately or may be “springing.” If the power is “springing,” it does not become effective until a certain date or specified event, such as incapacity. If the power is effective immediately, the agent’s authority will cease to be effective upon incapacity of the principal, unless the document explicitly indicates the power is durable. If the power is durable, then the agent’s authority will continue despite the principal’s incapacity unless it has otherwise been revoked or terminated prior to incapacity.

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