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Power of Attorney

A Power of Attorney is effective only during the Principal’s lifetime and upon the death of the Principal the Power of Attorney has no more authority. A Power of Attorney should never be used after the death of the Principal. The Principal is the person who signs the Power of Attorney. The person nominated to act under the Power of Attorney is referred to as the Agent.
There are two types of Power of Attorneys:
i)    A Statutory Durable Power can most easily be described as a document that allows the Agent to make business decisions and enter into business transactions for the Principal. Depending on how this document is executed it can be made to be effective immediately or only upon the incapacity of the Principal.
ii)    A Medical Power of Attorney is self explanatory; it allows the Agent to make medical decisions for the Principal BUT only if the Principal is incapacitated to the degree that he cannot make these decisions for himself. As long as you are competent you are entitled to make your own medical decisions.
The Power of Attorneys and other documents such as a Living Will (Directive to Physician) and/or Designation of Guardian  are important elements of your estate planning and are usually discussed at the same meeting at which the Will is discussed. As with other estate planning or probate matters the consultation regarding Powers of Attorney are FREE.