General Durable Power of Attorney - POA Form
Medical power of attorneys, or living wills, are important to any person. If you enter a hospital and cannot tell doctors about your wishes regarding important decisions like IV feeding tubes and life support, you need someone to ensure your wishes are met.
A perfect example would be if you were in a car accident and became brain dead. In 2008, a supposedly brain dead man’s foot moved after he was removed from life support. Today, Zack Dunlap is alive and doing well. All of this happened despite the doctor pronouncing Zack dead.
A general power of attorney authorizes someone to act as your attorney in a number of situations ranging from lawsuits to paying your bills. You grant a general power of attorney when you are going on an extended trip out of the country, become incapacitated due to your health, mental or physical.
When choosing a general power of attorney, it’s best to choose someone you trust completely. Be sure to ask what they charge for their services and if there are any fees that may arise that you may not currently be aware of. Many firms charge separate fees for photocopying paperwork, out-of-state faxes or even having paperwork notarized.
Remember that failing to designate general power of attorneys means your loved ones will have to go to court to gain this power. Meanwhile, a state-appointed attorney of fact will take control of your finances and real estate holdings.
Handling Financial Transactions
General durable power of attorney agents often handle a range of financial transactions. This may include paying bills, purchasing and selling stocks or donating money to charities.
The person designated in your general durable power of attorney form will have the authority to take out a loan in your name to help cover business expenses. They may also donate to charities you have designated to them.
Because the person holding the general power of attorney will have access to all of your bank accounts, it’s necessary to include terms in the durable power of attorney forms stating that if they become bankrupt in their own person life, you wish to revoke their general durable power of attorney and hand the responsibility to your second choice.
Making Choices Regarding Real Estate
Say you become hospitalized following a stroke; your general power of attorney agent becomes responsible for your real estate holdings. This includes selling properties that might not fit you anymore and purchasing a new, manageable home or unit within an assisted-living facility.
Act on Your Behalf in Legal Battles
A general durable power of attorney acts on your behalf in legal cases. If you are in an explosion at work and remain in a coma, but a lawsuit regarding that explosion is getting started, your general power of attorney agent could go to court to make decisions for you.
Contract Ends at Death
When you die, a power of attorney agreement ends. Should you die, you need an impartial person to act as your executor. They will need pay off any debt, handle your final taxes and distribute what’s left of your estate to those in your will, if you have one.
If you die without a will, affairs get messy. People often enter into court battles to claim your estate. Second to filling out a general durable power of attorney form, consider creating a will at the same time to eliminate arguments over your estate.
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