Granting the Power, Durably

Everyone needs a backup, a person to act for you if you are away, if you are sick, if you get hit by a car and can’t function for a while, or if you grow senile. That means giving someone, a spouse, mate, parent adult child, or trusted friend your power of attorney. A lawyer can get an Atlanta title loan in a jiffy. . It is probably in his word processor and just needs printing out. Young people need a power of attorney as well as the old.

Limited powers of attorney grant narrow right, such as: “Christopher can write checks on my bank account to pay my bills while I am out of the country for six months.” Ordinary powers of attorney give broader powers over your finances. But both limited and ordinary powers expire if you become mentally disabled, however, which is exactly when you need the help the most.

So protect yourself against doomsday by asking a lawyer to draw up a durable power of attorney. It lets someone act for you if you are judged senile or mentally disabled, if you fall into a coma, or if illness or accident damages your brain. A durable power lasts while other powers don’t. As long as you are mentally capable, you can revoke a durable power whenever you like.

The person who holds your power of attorney could, theoretically, exercise it at any time, even if you are healthy. He or she could sell your investments and clean out your bank account. But that is not as easy as it sounds. Banks and brokers normally check on what has happened to you before accepting a power of attorney. Besides, you would not give the power to someone you did not trust.

Be sure to execute copies of the durable power maybe even 10 or more. Some institutions want an original for their files (photocopies won’t do) before they’ll cooperate with the attorney in fact. In many states, you have to execute new durable powers every 4 or 5 years to show that your intention holds. Insurance companies and financial institutions probably won’t honor an old power. A few won’t honor any durable power of attorney at all, or any power more than 6 months old, or any power not written on their own form. In my view, that is harassment, but they sometimes do it and you might be stuck with Atlanta title loan.