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Q. What is a Power of Attorney and should I have one?

A. A Health Care Proxy deals with your medical needs. A Power of Attorney deals with your financial needs. By executing a Power of Attorney (POA), you (Principle) appoint an Agent who will have the power to handle your finances. You will be able to specifically state what powers you wish to grant to the Agent. For example, the power over bank accounts, stocks, bonds, and/or real estate.

It should be noted that a POA limits gifting ability by the agent. A principle can execute a Statutory Gifts Rider, which grants your Agent the power to make gifts of your property. These gifts are supposed to be in the principle’s best interest. A power of attorney is an extremely powerful document that should very well be thought out and discussed with your attorney.