How Long Is a Power of Attorney Valid?

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A power of attorney, also known as a POA, is valid until the expiration date, if one is set by the party, until it is cancelled by the individual or the individual’s representative, until the individual dies or if the individual becomes incompetent or incapacitated, unless the POA was set to be durable. The exact length of validity is dependent upon the agreement specified at the creation of the POA and the choices of the individual who creates it.

A power of attorney is a legal document that allows one person to give another person permission to represent his or her interests. This representative can then be given confidential information and make decisions for the individual. Power of attorney is commonly used to give agents the ability to perform tasks for the person who has submitted the POA including trading stocks and bonds, making bank deposits or withdrawals, buying or selling property, hiring people to take care of the individual, filing the person’s tax returns, applying for benefits such as Supplemental Security Income, negotiating and signing contracts, paying the person’s bills and arranging a person’s retirement benefits.

It is considered safe to use a power of attorney when the person appointed as the representative or agent is someone that is competent and trustworthy. It is imperative to choose a person that can be trusted implicitly.