When you designate someone as your agent under a Financial Power of Attorney, how long does that person have the authority to act on your behalf? If it’s a Durable Power of Attorney, then your agent’s authority continues even if you become mentally incapacitated, and it terminates under a limited number of circumstances.
Of course, as the person who appointed your agent, you have the right to revoke your Power of Attorney, terminating your agent’s authority, at any time during your life. Assuming, of course, that you are mentally competent to do so. Once you revoke a Power of Attorney, your agent’s power to act on your behalf is cut off. If he or she knowingly continues to use a revoked Power of Attorney, your agent can be held personally liable for his or her actions.
Termination by Court
Under certain limited circumstances, your agent’s authority to act on your behalf can be terminated by way of court intervention. This generally happens for one of two reasons; either your Power of Attorney itself is not valid, or your agent is abusing his or her authority.
Your Financial Power of Attorney terminates when you pass away. At this point, the authority to access and manage your bank accounts; buy, sell or rent property on your behalf; pay your bills and transact other business in your name passes from your agent to the Executor of your Will or the Trustee of your Living Trust.
Your estate planning attorney can help tailor a Power of Attorney that will give your agent the authority he or she needs to accomplish your financial and incapacity planning goals.
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