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Power Of Attorney

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A power of attorney is a legal instrument used to delegate authority. Under power of attorney, a principal delegates authority to a trusted agent. While the power of attorney is in effect, the agent then has a fiduciary duty to the principal. The exact scope of authority is spelled out in the power of attorney document. Three types of power of attorney are known as durable, springing, and nondurable. A durable power of attorney is effective once executed and until revoked. A springing power of attorney goes into effect at some defined future time. For example, a medical power of attorney may come into effect as soon as a doctor certifies that the principal is incapacitated, enabling the agent to make medical care decisions. A nondurable power of attorney is finite, thus suitable for a specific purpose. For instance, many principals grant their real estate attorney nondurable power of attorney to handle a specific transaction closing. In New York, a power of attorney used in a real estate transaction must be filed with the County Clerk.

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