Power of Attorney

With a power of attorney, you can appoint someone to act on your behalf known as an agent or attorney-in-fact. Your agent should be someone you completely trust in making personal decisions for you. Listed below are several important terms to remember when looking at appointing a power of attorney:

  • General Power of Attorney - With this power of attorney, your agent can perform many legally binding transactions on your behalf without prior notice to you.
  • Special or Limited Power of Attorney - A power of attorney granting your agent only certain powers or powers within a specified time period.
  • Durable Power of Attorney - Typically a power of attorney will cease to be in effect if you become incapacitated. At which time, the court will appoint someone to act for you. However, if your power of attorney specifies that it should remain in effect even if you become incapacitated, it is considered a durable power of attorney. A general or special power of attorney can be durable with the correct wording. In North Carolina a durable power of attorney must be recorded with your local Register of Deeds office.
  • Springing Power of Attorney - A durable power of attorney that is effective only in the event of your incapacity or incompetence.
Always remember that you can revoke your power of attorney at any time as long as you are not incapacitated. Also, your power of attorney will cease to be in effect upon your death. Since a power of attorney is an important legal document, it should always be kept in a safe place, and your family should be informed of its location. Please review our Frequently Asked Questions for more information.

Questions about powers of attorney may be answered by consulting an attorney. The material above is intended to be accurate; however, consultation with appropriate professionals for assistance is recommended.