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What Is a Power of Attorney?
A power of attorney allows a person you appoint -- your "attorney-in-fact" or agent -- to act in your place for financial or other purposes when and if you ever become incapacitated or if you can't act on your own behalf. The power of attorney document specifies what powers the agent has, which may include the power to open bank accounts, withdraw funds from bank accounts, trade stocks, pay bills, and cash checks, among other things. If you become incapacitated without a power of attorney in place, the court will have to appoint a guardian or conservator, which takes time and money.
There are four main types of powers of attorney: limited, general, durable, and springing. For information on the types of powers of attorney, click here.
For more information about powers of attorney, click here.
For information on choosing an agent under a power of attorney, click here.
For information about the duties of an agent under a power of attorney, click here.