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Durable Powers of Attorney for Financial Matters

Durable Powers of Attorney for Financial Matters

TABLE OF CONTENTS

I. WHAT IS A DURABLE POWER OF ATTORNEY AND WHY DO YOU NEED ONE
A. What a Durable Power of Attorney Does
B. How It Works
C. Who Can Make a DPOA
D. Defining Incapacity
E. What Happens if You Become Incapacitated without a DPOA
F. Why You Need a DPOA Even if You Are Married
G. Why You Need a DPOA Even if You Have a Revocable Living Trust

II. CHOOSING AN ATTORNEY-IN-FACT
A. Whom to Choose
B. Choosing a Second or Alternate Attorney-in-Fact

III. WHAT POWERS TO GIVE YOUR ATTORNEY-IN-FACT
A. Choose Wisely after Careful Consideration
1. PowersYou May Want to Consider
a. Personal Finance
b. Banking and Investments
c. Business Operations
d. Real Estate Transactions
e. Legal Affairs
f. Insurance
g. Family Care and Maintenance
h. Your Care and Maintenance
i. Tangible Personal Property Management
j. Gifts and Charitable Contributions
2. Powers You Cannot Give to Your Attorney-in-Fact
B. Drafting Your DPOA
C. Health Care Decisions Require a Different Document

IV. WHEN A DURABLE POWER OF ATTORNEY TAKES EFFECT
A. Your Options
B. Making Your DPOA Effective on Execution
C. Making Your DPOA Effective on Your Incapacity
D. Comparison with Non-Durable Powers of Attorney

V. EXECUTING YOUR DURABLE POWER OF ATTORNEY AND
STORING AND DISTRIBUTING THE DOCUMENT
A. Execution Requirements
B. Filing/Recording the Document
C. What to Do with the Document
D. Other Documents Your Attorney in Fact Will Need

VI. CHANGING OR REVOKING YOUR DURABLE POWER OF ATTORNEY
A. You Can Make Changes in Your DPOA So Long as Your Are Competent
B. Review Your DPOA Periodically
C. Amending Your DPOA
D. Revoking Your DPOA

VII.WHAT HAPPENS IF THE ATTORNEY IN FACT ABUSES POWER?
A. Abuse Is Always Possible
B. Attorney-in-Fact’s Fiduciary Duty
C. Examples of a Breach of Fiduciary Duty
D. Safeguards

VIII. 7 COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT DURABLE POWERS OF ATTORNEY
Misconception #1. You can use a power of attorney form you find online
Misconception #2. All power of attorney forms are the same
Misconception #3. Legally incompetent or incapacitated individuals can execute a power of attorney
Misconception #4. A durable power of attorney is valid after the principal’s death
Misconception #5. Your attorney-in-fact can make whatever decisions he or she chooses regarding your affairs
Misconception #6. Powers of attorney are only for the elderly
Misconception #7. A power of attorney is valid only in the state where it was written.