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Broad Versus Specific Language in Powers of Attorney: What to Know

October 21, 2021

You can create a general power of attorney which enables your financial power of attorney agent to make most decisions and financial transactions on your behalf or you might choose to name specific circumstances instead. Your individual considerations and concerns will come into play when consulting with an estate planning attorney about this important decision. 

You might choose to use broad language to give your agent all powers to manage your financial affairs in most cases but some powers are only given if they are specifically mentioned. It is worth specifically mentioning, for example, the power to designate beneficiaries of your insurance policies, the power to make gifts of your property or money and the power to change any community property agreements. Furthermore, some powers cannot be given to an agent, such as the power to update or create a will for you or the power to vote in public elections. 

You need to consult with an experienced attorney if you do not yet have a power of attorney document and want to create one to appoint someone else to take over and handle these important decisions for you if you become unable to do so. The support of a lawyer can help you identify a structure to this power of attorney document that meets your unique needs.       


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Recent Posts
Immediate vs. Deferred Annuities

Despite not being as well known as some other retirement tools, annuities account for 6.5% ...

See more
According to Young Investors, Progress Toward Goals Matters Most

Younger and older investors are likely to have different preferences in music, movies, and fashion. ...

See more
Guiding Your Aging Parents Through Life’s Next Chapter: A Strategic Overview

In today’s aging society, many families face the responsibility of caring for elderly parents. This ...

See more