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Power of Attorney

Are there advantages to a power of attorney over a conservatorship?

Conservatorship is an appointment by the court to do something specific. A general power of attorney is not monitored by the court and you can do anything you want to with it, as long as the person giving you the power agrees to it.

If my spouse and I own everything jointly, might a durable power of attorney still be useful?

Yes. It takes care of things that you don’t anticipate happening. So a power of attorney would give her the authority to react when you can’t. You’re out of the country, you’re sued, she can answer. You’re sick and something happens, she can respond to it. She can pay bills. She can take care of, or he, can do anything that’s necessary with a general power of attorney. Joint property only takes care of the property. It doesn’t take care of other actions.

Under a power of attorney, can my agent make a gift on my behalf?

Yes. If you’ve given them gifting power in the power of attorney, they can make gifts. If you didn’t, which I recommend not giving gifting power, they can’t make a gift. The problem with giving them gifting powers they make gifts to themselves, and you don’t want to do that.

What is the difference between general and limited power of attorney?

Limited power of attorney is when you give someone specific authority to take care of a specific problem. For instance, if you have a vacation home up on the lake and you want it remodeled and you give someone power to do that, that’s a specific power of attorney to do just that deed. A general power of attorney is an attorney, power of attorney to act for you on any financial matters. Specific power of attorney and a general power of attorney are different. Specific covers a distinct act that you want taken care of. General covers everything.

What powers can I give through a durable power of attorney?

You can give everything except your right to vote through a durable power of attorney. You give your right to collect money, to spend money, to sue and be sued. You can do virtually anything with a power of attorney, including selling your house.

What powers can I give through a power of attorney?

Virtually anything except voting. You can’t give the power to vote through a power of attorney. You can give everything else through the power of attorney. You can give the right to sue and be sued, you can give the right to collect and pursue debts, you can give the right to pay bills, collect assets, martial assets, change savings accounts. You can do quite a bit with a power of attorney.

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