What are some laws regarding power of attorney?


Quick Answer

A power of attorney gives one party the authority to act on behalf of another as his agent and can make legal and life decisions on their behalf according to the Legal Information Institute at Cornell University Law School. Power of attorney can take effect immediately or on a future date associated with a certain event.

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Full Answer

Rules regarding the power of attorney differ from state to state, but it is accepted in all states as noted by the American Bar Association.

The power may be limited to one specific event or action, such as a real estate transaction, guardianship, financial decisions or healthcare options.

The person given the power of attorney is called an attorney, according to the Legal Information Institute. Further, it says, an attorney in fact can represent another persons interests, but does not need to be a lawyer.

In some circumstances the American Bar Association says the person granted power of attorney must show a written document showing that this person has granted the power to another person. A proof of power of attorney would apply specifically in financial matters such as opening and closing bank accounts.

The reasons for handing over power of attorney vary. Power of attorney may be granted to made decisions for someone who is not able to make decisions for themselves or is incapacitated. If a person is unable to act on their own behalf and has not named a power of attorney, Legal Information Institute cites that a court may appoint one to manage the decisions. Court appointed to these positions are named as guardians, conservators or committees, depending on the state.

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