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What is Power of Attorney (POA) in Real Estate – Check what you can and can’t do as an Attorney

What is Power of Attorney (POA) in Real Estate – Check what you can and can’t do as an Attorney

Power of attorney (POA) or letter of attorney is a legal document that allows you to appoint one person or organization to manage your property, medical affairs, finances on your behalf in your absence. The person who authorizes the other to act on behalf of him/her is called the principal or donor or grantor. The one authorized to act is the agent. 

Depending on the terms and conditions of the POA, the authorized agent can either have limited or extensive authority to make legal decisions about the property, medical affairs, and finances. As an attorney, the following are the things you can do and don’t. 

Financial and property affairs:
Things an agent can do –

  • Buying, selling and renting a property
  • Repair and maintain grantor’s home
  • Supervise bank accounts
  • Bill payment
  • Manage investments
  • Gift purchase (there are strict rules for this and advice should be taken for each circumstance)

Things an agent can’t do –

  • Large financial gifts cannot be given to people
  • The agent has no rights to take own decisions related to discretionary funds
  • Grantor’s bank account cannot be mixed with agent’s account
  • Misuse of position for personal gain
  • Tax planning without proper guidance

Health and welfare:
Things an agent can do –

  • Plan the grantor’s daily routine
  • Decide about personal care and medical treatments
  • Take decisions that benefit the grantor
  • Take into consideration what the grantor needs

Things an agent can’t do –

  • No decisions should be taken that might restrict the grantor’s freedom
  • If the grantor is stable, the agent cannot make any decisions
  • Cannot make assumptions based on age, appearance, or behavior

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