What powers will my agent have under a durable power of attorney?

In most cases, durable power of attorney forms are used to authorize your named agent to manage almost all of your financial and personal affairs.

Among other powers, durable powers of attorney may authorize the named agent to handle the following matters:

  • Real property (real estate)
  • Banking transactions
  • Bond, shares, and commodities transactions
  • Business operations and transactions
  • Insurance transactions
  • Tangible personal property transactions
  • Beneficiary transactions
  • Gift transactions
  • Fiduciary powers
  • Family maintenance
  • Claims and litigation
  • Benefits from military service
  • Reports, records, and statements

Your durable power of attorney may also authorize your named attorney-in-fact (agent) to make gifts to his or herself from your assets, to handle final arrangements on your behalf, to act in your stead for your pets, and more.

One notable exception to the otherwise broad nature of a durable power of attorney is the authority to handle healthcare matters for you. In most states, you need to create a separate advance healthcare directive and healthcare power of attorney (also known as a living will and healthcare proxy, respectively) in order to authorize someone to speak for you and carry out your healthcare wishes in the event of your incapacity.

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