New Hampshire Power of Attorney

When you sign a power of attorney you give another person permission to act on your behalf. There are various types of powers of attorney for different scenarios.

Types of Power of Attorney Documents

Health Care v. Financial

With a health care power of attorney, you authorize another person, usually a close family member or friend, to make health care decisions for you in case you are not able to do so for yourself. This type of document is closely linked to a living will, and you usually sign them at the same time.

A financial power of attorney, on the other relates to financial or property transactions. This person might be, but need not be, the same person as who you designate for health care. Sometimes, for example, one particular family member thinks like you do about medical care, but is bad when it comes to money.

Limited v. General

When it comes financial to matters, the  power of attorney can either be general or limited. For example, an elderly person might use a general authorization to an adult child that they trust completely so that they can help them with all of their transactions. On the other hand, a limited power of attorney relates to one particular account, or even one particular transaction. For example, if a wife will be traveling on important business the day of a scheduled real estate closing, she can give her husband to sign the deed for her, limiting his authority to just that one transaction.

Warning: Banks can be Picky

Financial institutions can be very picky. Sometimes, when you bring a general power of attorney document to a bank, the bank won’t honor it, claiming it doesn’t meet their own legal requirements. While you can challenge this decision, it can obviously be time consuming and frustrating. Each major institution has its own form, approved by their own attorneys, that they prefer to use. Therefore, if you know your agent will be dealing with a particular bank, it is a good idea to use that bank’s particular form, instead of the one that you have for general purposes.

Durable v. Springing

A durable power of attorney is effectively immediately. You would use this if you know you need your agent to act right now, whenever is necessary, because your health is too poor, or you are too busy, to handle all of your own transactions. On the other hand, a “springing” power of attorney is only effective if a doctor declares you disabled. This is a planning tool for people who are in good health now but want to be prepared in case their health takes a turn for the worse.

Contact the Lawyers at Cohen & Winters About Helping You With Your Estate Plan

Every competent estate plan should plan for not only death, but also incapacity. If you would like to discuss further with one of our estate planning lawyers, please contact our office.

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