The Benefits of Having a Power of Attorney

Having a power of attorney can be useful in more than just life-threatening circumstances. At any time if you think that you may have difficulty paying bills or accessing accounts, you can designate a power of attorney to take care of your affairs. You may want to use a power of attorney if you are unable or unwilling to handle your financial affairs for yourself or to give another person control over your responsibilities if you become incapacitated.

In any power of attorney you are considered to be the “principal” and the person with the power over your affairs is the “agent” or “attorney-in-fact.” Having a power of attorney does not restrict the principal’s actions; it only shares them with the agent. The principal determines the amount of power to be given to the agent: what assets can be controlled, etc. You do not need an attorney to prepare a power of attorney. However, giving power to another person over your financial affairs is serious and consulting an attorney can be beneficial in making sure you do not run into future problems. In order to create a power of attorney, you need to obtain a document in writing signed by you in front of a notary public, dated, and clear on what the agent’s powers are. You may revoke your power of attorney at any time with a signed document. It is not effective until the agent receives notice of the revocation. Unrevoked a power of attorney will remain in effect until your death.

Power of Attorney Types

A power of attorney can take many shapes and sizes. Common examples include

  • General Power of Attorney
  • Special Power of Attorney
  • Real Estate Power of Attorney
  • Health Care Power of Attorney
  • Medical Power of Attorney
  • Power of Attorney for a Child
  • Guardian’s Power of Attorney for a Child
  • Durable Power of Attorney

We can also assist with a Revocation of Power of Attorney. Sometimes, a person’s physical or mental capacity raises questions regarding whether they are capable of entering into a power of attorney. In those cases, we can help you seek court approval to appoint a guardian or conservator. These are called a guardianship or conservatorship. Guardians help someone with their personal needs. Conservators help someone with their financial needs.

Power of Attorney Scenarios

In Minnesota, a power of attorney may be used for many reasons. For example, consider the following situations:

  • Buying, managing or selling real estate
  • Disclaiming interests (done within estate planning to avoid estate taxes)
  • Employing professional assistance
  • Entering into contracts
  • Entering safety deposit boxes
  • Exercising stock rights
  • Filing tax returns
  • Handling banking transactions
  • Handling matters related to government benefits
  • Handling transactions involving U.S. securities
  • Maintaining and operating business interests
  • Making gifts
  • Making transfers to revocable (“living”) trusts
  • Purchasing life insurance
  • Settling legal claims

Minnesota Power of Attorney Services

If you need a power of attorney, contact us to discuss your situation. Aaron can advise you regarding the type of power of attorney needed for your situation.

Contact an attorney in this area