How Does Your Power of Attorney Stack Up?

Everyday you make hundreds of choices when managing your affairs.  Designating a power of attorney is greatly important for all adults because it gives a trusted person authority to manage your affairs in the event you lose the ability to make them yourself.  The following is a helpful guide for Georgia residents to consider in creating a desirable and complete power of attorney.


What Should Your Power of Attorney Contain?

At minimum, your power of attorney should contain the State of Georgia’s standard power of attorney language for authority to access bank accounts and safe deposit boxes, make payments, borrow money, purchase and sell property, and other “broad powers.”   This is the core of a power of attorney.


Make Sure You Have a Back Up Power of Attorney

Your power of attorney does not have to live in Georgia but it’s not a bad idea to pick one close by.  Having specific alternates to your primary power of attorney is just as crucial.  Your primary selection may be unavailable or simply unwilling to take on the responsibility.  Make sure to talk to your primary and backup power of attorney before making your selection and make sure they are willing to accept the responsibility.


“Non-Traditional” Powers

It is important to specify exactly what authority you want your agent to have in “non traditional” areas.  For example, you may want to specify certain housing desires.  With more and more reliance on technology, you may want to specifically designate access to your computer or other electronic information.  What about driving privileges?  Would you give someone authority to take away your driving privileges?????


Interplay Between Your Agent and Your Healthcare Power of Attorney

While these are often very similar, you may want to specify who has power in a given matter.  This can be especially crucial in housing matters where your healthcare power of attorney thinks you should stay, but your general power of attorney thinks you may need to move to assisted care.  Furthermore, you may wish to give your general power of attorney access to the medical records typically only seen by your healthcare power of attorney.


When Your Agent’s Authority Begins, and When it Ends

The power of attorney can begin immediately, or sometime in the future.  You may trust your agent to refrain from using their authority until it is necessary even if you give them the power immediately, but that is generally not recommended.  You may wish to postpone the power of attorney from becoming effective until after an event or diagnosis proves incapacity.


So, how does your power of attorney stack up???


Best Wishes,


–        Norris Legal, L.L.C.


Thank you for reading this article. The information contained in this article is for discussion purposes only. The information contained in this article is not legal advice upon which you should act and simply reading this article does not make you a client of Norris Legal, L.L.C. or any other law firm. Thank you again.