A lot of people are not aware of the fact that a Durable Power of Attorney is necessary, even if you are married, so that your spouse will be able to act on behalf, if you are incapacitated, unless you have an asset that is joint owned.
Powers of Attorney allow others to speak and/or act for you, either in tax, financial, legal or healthcare matters. The person you give permission to act on your behalf is called an Agent. An Agent is the one who represents you (the POA). The Principal is the person who needs representation or assistance.
It’s important to understand that while the agent has your permission to act, speak, sign, and obligate agreements on your behalf; it is a requirement that the agent put YOUR best interests in front of everyone else, including the agent acting on your behalf. This is known as a fiduciary responsibility. All agents have a fiduciary responsibility to protect the principal they represent in all matters against everyone.
If you have a Mental Health or Healthcare (medical) Power of Attorney, be sure to include the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) inclusion paragraph that allows you to receive personal medical information about the principal you represent.
If you act as an agent or POA for anyone, be sure to understand the Agency law of the state you live in. Consult an attorney and have them give you instructions in writing as to your responsibilities as a POA. When signing documents as a POA, always sign your name and the initials “POA” after your signature, to let others know you have permission to act. There are many kinds of Powers of Attorney.
Some of the Powers of Attorney are listed below:
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