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Frequently Asked Questions - Power of Attorney
 
1. What is a Power of Attorney?
2. What is a Durable Power of Attorney?
3. What is a Non-Durable Power of Attorney?
4. What is a ‘Springing Power of Attorney?
5. What type of powers may I grant?
6. Is there a limit to the powers that I can give my attorney in fact?
7. Can I change or revoke my power of attorney?
8. What are the requirements to make a valid Power of Attorney?
9. Do I still need a Last Will or Living Trust if I have a Power of Attorney?
 
 
 
1. What is a Power of Attorney?
  This is a document that allows one person (grantor) to appoint another person (attorney in fact) to act for him or her. The powers granted may be as broad or specific as you like. You can even select your power of attorney to become effective only in certain cases. A power of attorney may be ‘durable’ (powers survive your incapacity) or ‘non-durable’ (powers end when you become incapacitated), or ‘springing’ (powers become effective some time in the future). All Power of Attorneys becomes null and void upon your death.
 
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2. What is a Durable Power of Attorney?
  This type of power of attorney grants certain financial and legal power to your attorney in fact which become effective immediately. Your attorney in fact will be able to make decisions for you even if you become mentally incapacitated.
 
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3. What is a Non-Durable Power of Attorney?
  This is very similar to the Durable Power of Attorney, with one difference: your attorney in fact will NOT be able to act for you if you become mentally incapacitated.
 
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4. What is a ‘Springing Power of Attorney?
  This type of Power of Attorney becomes effective only when you are deemed to be mentally incapacitated by a medical professional.
 
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5. What type of powers may I grant?
  You can customize your power of attorney for financial and legal transactions such as: real property, personal property, stocks and bonds, banking, business operation, insurance, estate, trust, claims, family maintenance, social security/government benefits, retirement, and tax matters. You control how much power to give your attorney in fact. Keep in mind that only a ‘Healthcare Power of Attorney’ may designate medical and life support powers.
 
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6. Is there a limit to the powers that I can give my attorney in fact?
  Yes. Durable and Non-Durable Power of Attorneys are limited to financial and legal matters. The power to make medical decisions requires the use of a Healthcare Power of Attorney. CreateLegalDocs.com provides a free Healthcare Power of Attorney when you create a Living Will.
 
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7. Can I change or revoke my power of attorney?:
  So long as you are mentally sound, you may make changes to or revoke your power of attorney at any time. If you revoke your power of attorney, be sure that your attorney in fact and financial institutions get a copy.
 
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8. What are the requirements to make a valid Power of Attorney?
  The person giving the power must be of sound mind, and capable of signing the power of attorney. The appointed attorney in fact must be at least 18 years old. Laws regarding the number of witnesses and notarization vary state to state. We recommend that two witnesses (unrelated to the grantor, attorney in fact, or each other) sign the Power of Attorney and it be notarized.
 
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9. Do I still need a Last Will or Living Trust if I have a Power of Attorney?
  Yes. A Power of Attorney is only valid while you are alive or incapacitated. It becomes null and void upon your death and gives no instructions as to how your estate should be distributed. A Will or Trust can specify these instructions.
 
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