At W.G. Alexander & Associates, we know that the power of attorney is the most important document that a client can have. In terms of doing estate planning, asset protection planning, and looking into Medicaid and VA benefits (Aid and Attendance) options available to a client, the power of attorney can either help or hinder a family from seeking help for their loved one
A power of attorney is a written document in which one person (the principal) appoints another person to act as an agent (power of attorney) on his or her behalf, thus conferring authority on the agent to perform certain acts or functions on behalf of the principal. The powers conferred upon the agent are limited to what the document specifically authorizes.
For example, a lot of people have something called a short form power of attorney. In this document, the principal either initials or decides not to initial certain powers thereby granting or not granting powers to her or his agent. In just the same way that a principal can decide not to confer powers to her or his agent by not initialing a power, if a document does not specifically state than an agent has a certain power the principal does not confer said power to the agent.
Do you know what your power of attorney authorizes? Bill explains why that can be a major issue in this episode.