Power of Attorney: What You Need to Know


By Paul H. Grant 

Couple with consultantSome of the most common questions I receive as an estate planner revolve around power of attorneys: their efficiency, expiration, and purpose.

For example, does a power of attorney expire?  As any good attorney would answer – it depends!  A power of attorney (POA) is a document that gives another individual of your choosing legal authority to act in your place.  Many POAs are not valid until the principle (the person who made the POA) is disabled by two doctors – this is termed a “springing” POA.  Other POAs are valid immediately and remain in effect until death.  Unless a POA is used for a specific purpose, like to buy a house or conduct a business transaction, most POAs do not have an ending date.

Although a POA may not legally expire, a POA can become stale.  A stale POA is one that is too old…

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