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    AEverplans answered
    A power of attorney (POA) is someone you appoint to make legal and financial decisions on your behalf should you be unable to do so. Since your power of attorney potentially will be handling your legal and financial affairs, you’ll want to choose someone who either has some experience in these fields or has the necessary qualities to handle the decisions that may fall to him or her.

    A power of attorney should be a person with the following characteristics:
    • Attention to detail
    • An understanding of his or her duties, and a commitment to taking those duties seriously
    • An understanding of finances and perhaps business
    • The ability to collaborate with attorneys, accountants and other parties, if necessary
    In addition, a power of attorney should be someone you trust, who you believe understands your values and will act in your best financial and legal interest.
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    AEverplans answered
    Many legal professionals encourage naming a durable power of attorney rather than a springing power of attorney. That's because if the terms of incompetence are not specified in a springing power of attorney, a formal proceeding to determine incompetence must be held. The person you named as your springing power of attorney may not be able to act until this process is complete. 
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    AEverplans answered
    A springing power of attorney (POA) becomes effective upon a specific date, event or condition. Usually, this “condition” is a declaration of mental incompetence by a doctor. Because the POA “springs” into effect upon a declaration of incompetence, it is important to state in the springing POA paperwork what qualifies as incompetence -- and who must make the declaration. This person is usually your doctor.

    Because a springing power of attorney does not go into effect immediately, it can limit the agent's access to your finances. This can create less of a chance that the person you name as your power of attorney will commit fraud against you or steal from you.
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    AEverplans answered
    If a power of attorney (POA) is not named, a potential agent may apply to the court to be named your guardian or conservator. Compared to naming a POA, guardianship proceedings can be time consuming, expensive and stressful. In addition, there is the risk that the court may appoint someone as a guardian or conservator who you might not have chosen or preferred.
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    AEverplans answered
    Many people establish a durable power of attorney (DPOA) when they get older and start having difficulty managing their finances. By appointing a power of attorney (POA), he or she can handle paying bills, managing bank accounts, overseeing investments and preparing and filing tax returns on your behalf. These things may become increasingly important as you age and are no longer able to handle these duties.
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    AEverplans answered
    A non-durable power of attorney goes into effect as soon as the document is signed. It expires if/when you are declared mentally incompetent or die, whichever comes first. You may revoke a non-durable power of attorney at any time.
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    AEverplans answered
    Whether a durable power of attorney (POA) is better than a non-durable power of attorney depends on your goals. You might want a non-durable POA if you cannot be present to sign or execute certain documents or dealings, and need someone with legal authority to act on your behalf. However, if you should become incapacitated or incompetent before the specific transaction is to occur, a non-durable power of attorney will expire -- and the agent will not be able to act on your behalf. For this reason, many legal professionals encourage naming a durable power of attorney rather than a non-durable power of attorney.
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    AEverplans answered
    A non-durable power of attorney (POA) is usually established to achieve a specific financial or legal goal. For example, a non-durable power of attorney may be used if your signature is needed on a financial or legal document, but you cannot be present to physically sign the document. In this way, a non-durable POA usually provides specific rather than general financial and legal coverage. 
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    AEverplans answered
    A power of attorney (POA) is generally appointed either for a specific purpose or as protection in case you become incapacitated or incompetent. Naming a POA through a legal website generally costs under $50 and sometimes as little as $15. If you establish a POA with an attorney the costs may be higher, depending on your attorney’s rate.
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    AEverplans answered
    There are three types of power of attorney (POA). The main differences between them are when they go into effect and when they expire.
    • Non-durable power of attorney goes into effect upon signing and expires if/when you are declared mentally incompetent.
    • Durable power of attorney (DPOA) goes into effect upon signing and expires when you die.
    • Springing power of attorney goes into effect upon a specific event, date or condition (such as a declaration of mental incompetence) and expires when you die.
    For the purposes of estate planning and end-of-life planning, a durable power of attorney is generally recommended. With DPOA, there is no question about when the POA becomes effective (as there often is with a springing POA), and the agent may act on your behalf if you become incompetent or incapacitated (which is not the case with a non-durable POA).