If you become incapacitated, having a power of attorney in Minnesota is crucial to ensure that your family can make legal and financial decisions for you.
What is a Power of Attorney?
A power of attorney is a legal document that allows you to name someone else to make decisions on your behalf if you are incapacitated or unable to make decisions for yourself relating to financial or legal matters. A power of attorney allows whomever you name as your “attorney in fact” (also known as your agent) to access your bank accounts, sell your real estate, pay your bills, and many other important functions. Because of the incredible authority you give someone under a power of attorney designation in Minnesota, it is important that you name someone you trust completely. There are too many stories of powers of attorney being abused by spouses, or even the parents of a child.
Types of Powers of Attorney in Minnesota
Minnesota Statutory Short Form Power of Attorney
The first is a statutory short form power of attorney. The statutory short form power of attorney is a short and standardized document. Once signed, this document is effective immediately and gives the attorney in fact the authority to act immediately. The Minnesota short form power of attorney may not be altered or edited, otherwise it becomes invalid. The purpose of this is so that financial institutions in Minnesota will more readily recognize a valid power of attorney and accept it quicker than if they had to review the language of each document every time a power of attorney was presented to a financial institution.
Minnesota General Power of Attorney
The second type of power of attorney is a general power of attorney. For a general power of attorney document in Minnesota, we include many of the same powers that the statutory short form power of attorney includes, but we also explicitly state the powers given to the attorney-in-fact. The general power of attorney in Minnesota can either be effective immediately or you may choose to make the power of attorney effective only upon incapacity.
Minnesota Limited Power of Attorney
A limited power of attorney is very similar to the other powers of attorney listed above, however the limited power of attorney restricts the scope of the authority of the attorney-in-fact. For instance, you might have a limited power of attorney to complete the sale of your homestead while you are out of the country.
Having an experienced Minnesota estate planning attorney to ensure that your power of attorney documents are up to date and providing you security is important and can save your family thousands of dollars by avoiding a conservatorship proceeding in Minnesota.