Most people have heard the phrase “power of attorney” but many are confused over what it actually does and how it may be useful to them. At Beige Law we find that many clients come to us with ideas about powers of attorney and estate planning in general that have been heavily influenced by television and movie plots. Entertaining but not necessary accurate.
Simply put a power of attorney gives someone (called the “agent”) the legal authority (“power”) to act on your behalf (the “principal”). It’s just that simple. And no, the agent does not have to be an attorney. It can be any competent adult.
Selling your house but don’t want to attend the closing? Give a power of attorney to your real estate attorney to sign the closing documents on your behalf.
Planning your estate and are concerned about how your banking and bills will be paid if you’re bedridden? Give power of attorney to a trusted relative who can then act in your place.
A power of attorney is a very useful and powerful tool in estate planning. However, like any other powerful tool it must be used carefully and wisely. At Beige Law we are always here to help our clients do just that.