A power of attorney is a legal document whereby one person grants another person the authority to make legal and financial decisions on their behalf. A power of attorney can be used in several ways – from having another take care of your affairs whilst traveling to times of extended illness.
An ordinary power of attorney is only valid for as long as the you are capable of acting for yourself. If you become mentally incompetent then the power of attorney is no longer valid.
A durable power of attorney takes this a step further whereby the person nominated to manage your affairs (also called the ‘attorney-in-fact’) may continue to manage the affairs once the person giving the power (also called the ‘principal’) is found to have diminished mental capacity due to injury or illness. This arrangement can remain in place as long as the principal is still alive.
In order to sign a power of attorney the principal must be capable of understanding the nature of the document they are signing and its effect. It is therefore important in situations where a power of attorney must be appointed that it is done so in a timely manner.
Contact us to arrange an appointment to talk over your situation with an experienced power of attorney lawyer in Putnam.