Why do I need a Power of Attorney?

Who will manage your everyday affairs, such as paying the bills, if you cannot do so? In cases of illness or injury, many people assume that a spouse or child can take over for them. Unfortunately, this is not the case. When an individual is stricken with a severe illness or an injury leaving him unable to make decisions, a POA allows a trusted friend or family member to take over and manage his financial and medical needs.

All states have legal procedures for guardianships or conservatorships. These procedures allow a court to appoint a person to oversee the affairs of a incapacitated person. These proceedings are expensive and involve lawyers and doctors. If a trusted family member is not available to serve as the guardian or conservator, a stranger may be appointed to manage your affairs.

A POA can avoid the expense of legal proceedings. A Power of Attorney may contain some or all of the following powers:

1. To collect money due; institute lawsuits to collect money, and handle business affairs.

2. To hire attorneys to prosecute or to defend or to assert any right in your name.

3. To settle or compromise any claim or demand existing against you.

4. To negotiate, to make, and to execute any contract in your name, including contracts either to buy or to sell, or to lease or to mortgage, or to repair, or to operate, any real or personal property.

5. To borrow money for you and to execute for you any note, and to pledge or mortgage any personal or real property to secure the same.

6. To execute in your name and deliver any bill of sale or deed of conveyance, or other instrument, conveying property, real or personal, upon any terms whatsoever.

7. To enter any lock box rented in your name in any bank.

8. To sign your name to any check upon any checking account standing in your name in any bank, and to withdraw from such account funds now on deposit.

9. To endorse in your name any check, draft, note or other negotiable instrument.

10. To file income tax returns and to represent you in all tax matter before any office of the Internal Revenue Service or State Tax Commission.

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