Different elements of a general power of attorney

As you prepare your estate plan, it is important that you select the proper person or people to handle your affairs. Such individuals hold a great amount of power in your place, so it is important to select trustworthy, capable trustees.

Depending on the size of your estate and your physical condition, it may be beneficial to make specific designations. There are a few elements of the power of attorney title that you should be aware of before making your decision.

General

A general power of attorney is a designation to manage the affairs of and make decisions for an individual who is alive. Some of the common things that general powers of attorney handle include:

  • Bank transactions
  • Claim settlements
  • Filing taxes
  • Managing real estate

It is important to note that this designation ends once you die. Also, this designation does not allow an individual free range over your estate. In fact, with Georgia's new Uniform Power of Attorney Act, powers of attorney have stricter guidelines to uphold.

Durable

A durable power of attorney is often seen as a feature of a general power of attorney. Under this designation, the designee retains the responsibility to manage your affairs even if you become incapacitated.

Springing

A springing power of attorney is a document that designates a party as power of attorney upon a specific occurrence, event or date. Once the document "springs" into effect, the party becomes a durable power of attorney, therefore it falls under the general power of attorney umbrella. Considering that the springing power of attorney is for specific events, it is important that the language in the document be very precise and clear.

These are the possible types of general power of attorney in the state of Georgia. If you are orchestrating your estate plan or simply desire to protect your assets in the case of your incapacitation, it is important to have a full understanding of these options.

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