Power of Attorney

A Power of Attorney, also called general durable Power of Attorney or financial power, is the single most useful planning tool to address the possibility of future incapacity.

A General Durable Power of Attorney is a document where an individual over the age of 18 and legally competent, called the principal, gives power to an agent, also called attorney-in-fact, to act on the principal’s behalf regarding financial matters.  The agent will have access to the bank account, the safe deposit box, and any other financial accounts of the principal. 

A Limited Power of Attorney is generally created only for selling real estate properties. 

In general, an agent may be anyone who is legally competent and over the age of 18.  Usually, it is a family member such as a spouse or child.  More than one person can be named as an agent. 

The agent presents the Power of Attorney to a financial institution informing it of the existence of the document and the agent will sign any necessary documents needed for such transactions on behalf of the principal.  Your agent signs “your name, by his/her name, agent under POA.”

The power may become effective immediately upon its signing or at the time of your incapacity (“springing power”).

Everyone should execute a durable general Power of Attorney.  It is a simple document which addresses temporary and permanent incapacity.  In most cases, this document prevents the need to go through the time consuming and expensive process of a petition for guardianship and conservatorship.  It avoids the public embarrassment to have to declare a loved one mentally or physically incompetent.

A good Power of Attorney shall be tailored to your needs and is not a simple standard form. We are available to advise agents of their duties and responsibilities. 

For further information or to receive a brochure on powers of attorney, please call Miorini Law, PLLC at (703) 448-6121 or send an email to yahne.miorini@miorinilaw.com.