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What is a "Power of Attorney"?

A Power of Attorney is a document that gives someone, other than yourself, the ability to legally act upon and make decisions for you. There are two basic types: a general, or limited power of attorney; and a durable power of attorney. The main difference between the two is that a general power is revoked if the grantor becomes incapacitated and a durable power stays in effect if the grantor becomes incapacitated.

An example of when a general power might be needed is a soldier who is being deployed overseas. He/she can grant their spouse, parent, or some other trusted person the authority to handle their affairs while they are gone. When the deployed soldier returns, the power can be revoked.

A durable power of attorney is a document giving powers to act and decide on the grantor’s behalf should that grantor become incapacitated. If one has a durable power of attorney and becomes incapacitated, the person having the power can step in and continue to run a business, access bank accounts to pay bills, and generally handle affairs that can’t wait on a long, drawn out court proceeding. A durable power of attorney is something everyone should consider.

Have a great week!

J. Kevin Rundlett

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