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  • Writer's pictureAdam Millendorf

Your Bespoke Power of Attorney

Let's set the stage, you have a closing coming up that you have been waiting months for and your boss suddenly tells you he needs you to be at a conference across the country that day. If the closing gets pushed it might not happen at all, and you can't get out of the conference, so what do you do? Well, you turn to the Power of Attorney. A Power of Attorney is a document which allows you to give someone else the authority to make decisions and sign documents in your place. And the best thing about the Power of Attorney is that it can be tailored to just your particular needs. Powers of Attorney come in a variety of flavors in terms of their power, duration, and durability. While some Powers of Attorney are more "general" in nature and give a broad range of powers, others are more "limited" or "specific" so they can only be used in one type of transaction - like real estate. Some Powers of Attorney can be structured to last indefinitely so they can be used at any time. Others are limited to a certain period of time or even just to one particular transaction. The durability of a Power of Attorney focuses on what happens in the event the principal becomes incapacitated and unable to revoke the Power of Attorney's authority. While many still spell it out in the document itself, since 2018 Powers of Attorney in North Carolina are considered durable, meaning they continue to operate even after the principal becomes incapacitated by default. However, a lot of principals aren't comfortable with this, so they put limiting language in a Power of Attorney to make it useless if they become incapacitated. Another type of Power of Attorney that takes incapacity into account is the "springing" type. These actually become effective only after incapacity and not before. Basically, they are like a Healthcare Power of Attorney but with broader powers.

By executing a Power of Attorney you are giving your agent just that: power. You are giving them the power to make decisions and sign legal documents for you that will have an affect on your interest in property. However, not everyone's situation is the same. Maybe you're only going to be out of town for the day of closing so you only need the POA for that one day. Or, maybe you're in the military and have been deployed so you need something more general or durable. Or, maybe you are facing an illness that can take your capacity and you want someone to be able to handle things when you cannot. No matter the situation, like a nice suit, you can have a bespoke Power of Attorney made just for you.

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