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Durable Power Of Attorney For Finances

What Can An Agent/Attorney-in-fact Do?

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It's up to you to determine the powers your Attorney-in-fact has.

In general, an Attorney-in-fact can do everything you can, or be limited to acting just on one specific matter -- or anywhere in between. The only exception is that depending on the state in which you live, an Attorney-in-fact may not be able to make health care decisions for you. If you want an Attorney-in-fact to make health care decisions, you can execute a Health Care Power Of Attorney.

An Agent under a General Power of Attorney can:

  • Use your assets to pay your and your family's everyday expenses.
  • Buy and sell real and personal property.
  • Collect benefits from Social Security, Medicare, or private insurance policies.
  • Invest your money.
  • Perform banking transactions -- including taking loans on your behalf.
  • File and pay your taxes.
  • Negotiate a settlement with the IRS and other taxing authorities.
  • Operate your business.
  • Change your legal domicile to a state where Medicaid rules are more favorable.
  • Access your safe deposit box.

Whatever powers you give the Attorney-in-fact, he or she must:

  • Act in your best interests.
  • Keep accurate records.
  • Keep your property separate from his or hers.
  • Avoid conflicts of interest.

As you will see below, the power of attorney does not have to take effect the day you sign it.

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