Power Of Attorney: The Pros And Cons

A checklist of advantages and disadvantages to think about if your loved one is considering drawing up a power of attorney.

Advantages

  • Establishing a power of attorney is inexpensive.
  • Your loved one can decide who should make decisions on his or her behalf.
  • Your loved one controls whether the agent has general or specific power.
  • The document can require the agent to become bonded or to give an account of his or her transactions.

Disadvantages

  • Your loved one’s competence at the time of writing the power of attorney might be questioned later.
  • Some financial institutions require that the document be written on special forms.
  • Some institutions may refuse to recognize a document after six months to one year.
  • If the powers granted are too general, the agent could abuse them.
  • The agent could turn out to be untrustworthy.

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