Powers of Attorney in Minnesota: Issues, Facts, and Commonly Asked Questions
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Powers of Attorney in Minnesota: Issues, Facts, and Commonly Asked Questions

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A power of attorney is a legal document created by a principal giving an agent specified powers to act on the principal's behalf. This presentation will talk about powers of attorney in Minnesota and ...

A power of attorney is a legal document created by a principal giving an agent specified powers to act on the principal's behalf. This presentation will talk about powers of attorney in Minnesota and their importance as a part of a good estate plan.

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Powers of Attorney in Minnesota: Issues, Facts, and Commonly Asked Questions Powers of Attorney in Minnesota: Issues, Facts, and Commonly Asked Questions Presentation Transcript

  • 1 Created by a Principal Legal Document Empowering an Agent, also known as an Attorney in Fact Giving the Agent specified Powers to act on the Principal’s Behalf
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  • The power to sell or manage your property Manage your everyday finances Purchase real estate or insurance on your behalf File your taxes And more
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  • Document Minnesota law provides a standard form you can use. You can also create your own form to suit your own purposes. Signed The principal has to sign the power of attorney form in front of a notary public. Dated Power of attorney document has to be clearly dated. Specific The document must detail the powers the principal is giving the agent.
  • Limited powers These are specific powers granted to the agent by the principal. All other rights and abilities not given remain solely those of the principal. General Giving general powers of attorney transfer all possible rights to the agent
  • Mentally sound. You can only grant power of attorney when you maintain the ability to make your own choices and understand how those choices affect others. You cannot give power of attorney when, for example, you are delirious, suffering from a mind altering disease, or are otherwise incapable of understanding your own decisions. Adult. You must be at least 18 years old create a power of attorney.
  • Termination • If you are not happy with how your agent is acting you can terminate the agent at any time as long as you are mentally sound Modification • The principal has the right to change the power of attorney terms at any time as long as he or she remains mentally sound
  • Lawyers not necessary. The title “attorney-in-fact” does not mean you have to select a lawyer. It also does not give your agent the right to practice law. Fiduciary. An agent has the legal responsibility to do what is in the principal’s best interests. Capable. Just like someone who makes a power of attorney, an agent has to be legally capable of serving in the position. You must select a capable adult of sound mind. Minor children cannot serve as an attorney-in-fact.
  • Voluntary. Your selection of attorney-in- fact has to be willing to serve. If the attorney-in-fact declines to serve or, after accepting, chooses to stop being your agent, you should have a replacement agent ready. Person or organization. You can select either an individual or an organization. Depending on the kinds of responsibilities you want your agent to carry out, one choice may be more suitable than another.
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  • Incapacitation • As a general rule, should you become mentally incompetent all powers of attorney will automatically be terminated Exception • However, if you create a durable power of attorney, these powers will continue to remain in effect even if you become incapacitated
  • Notification An agent can continue to act as long as he or she believes the principal is alive, or as long as he or she believes the powers of attorney are still in effect. Once notified of the principal’s death, the agent’s power ends. Estates Principals commonly choose agents to continue to represent them after the principal has died. If this is the case the principal has to nominate the agent to serve as executor, also known as a personal representative, through the principal’s last will and testament.
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  • Spouse • The property that you and your spouse owned together will still be managed by your spouse, but there are significant limits to what a spouse can do. Conservator • A person a court appoints to manage finances is known as a conservator. Probate • To appoint someone the court will have to hold hearings.
  • Non-Delegable Probate
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  • Last will and testament Nominate a guardian, executor, and decide how you want to dispose of your property after you die. Trust Transfer your property to the trust and nominate a trustee to manage it and distribute it as you direct.