A power of attorney is a document that allows an individual to name an agent to act on his or her behalf.
The powers afforded to the agent can be effective immediately upon the signing of the power of attorney, or the document can become effective only upon the incapacitation or disability of the subscriber.
A power of attorney is considered to be durable if it states that the powers granted to the agent survive the subscriber’s subsequent incapacitation.
The document can grant a wide variety of powers to the agent or strictly limit the agent to as few powers as the subscriber wishes.
Titling bank accounts jointly with a child is not enough. While it may enable a child to have access to funds to pay bills, joint ownership does not authorize a child to sell property if needed, review medical records, or apply for Medicaid or Medicare benefits on behalf of the parent.
Absent fraud or criminal activity, an agent under a power of attorney is not required to account for his or her actions.
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