A durable power of attorney is an invaluable estate planning tool as it can be used to potentially avoid the need to have a guardian of your estate appointed if you become incapacitated. However, care must be provided in drafting a power of attorney since it is capable of being abused. A non-durable power of attorney applies only when the person who executed the power of attorney is of sound body and mind, whereas a durable power of attorney also extends to when someone is physically or mentally incapacitated.
In order for a power of attorney to be valid, the requirements are pretty simple. A power of attorney needs only be: 1) in writing; 2) name an attorney-in-fact; 3) give the attorney-in-fact a power(s) to act on behalf of the principal; and 4) be signed by the principal or at the principal’s direction in the presence of a notary. A power of attorney generally is effective on the date that it is signed and executed unless it specifically states a date or event upon which it will become effective. Often times, a power of attorney is drafted so as to become effective upon the occurrence of the event of a person’s incapacity.
A power of attorney can give the attorney-in-fact one or more of the following powers: 1) real property transactions, 2) tangible personal property transactions, 3) bond, share and commodity transactions, 4) retirement plans, 5) banking transactions, 6) business operating transactions, 7) insurance transactions, 8) transfer on death or payable on death transactions, 9) beneficiary transactions, 10) gift transactions, 11) fiduciary transactions, 12) claims and litigation, 13) family maintenance, 14) benefits from military service, 15) records, reports, and settlements, 16) estate transactions, 17) health care powers and religious tenets, 18) consent to or refusal of health care, 19) delegation of authority, and 20) other matters.
If you are interested in learning more about powers of attorney and what they can accomplish for you, or if you need a power or attorney, or other estate planning documents drafted, feel free to contact Adam S. Lutzke Law Offices at (317) 577-3888, or at [email protected]