What is the purpose of having a Power of Attorney?

A Power of Attorney is a document in which an individual appoints someone to serve as his Attorney-in-Fact or as his agent. This individual may handle the financial affairs of such a person as if the agent or Attorney-in-Fact owned the property himself. A durable Power of Attorney becomes effective the date it is signed and remains effective until the maker revokes the document or dies. Each person should carefully consider who they appoint as their agent or Attorney-in-Fact. If such an individual does not have the utmost confidence and trust and his Attorney-in-Fact, a durable Power of Attorney is not an appropriate document. The benefit of a durable Power of Attorney is that it allows the Attorney-in-Fact to continue to pay the expenses and to conduct the business of the maker if the maker suddenly becomes incapacitated or disabled. A durable Power of Attorney avoids the necessary of going to the Orphans’ Court in Pennsylvania, or the Surrogate’s Court in New Jersey to have a guardian appointed for such an individual.