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Minnesota Power of Attorney

Under Minnesota law, as in most or maybe all jurisdictions, the term power of attorney refers to a written grant of authority by one person to another person. The grantee, also known as the attorney-in-fact (instead of attorney-at-law), is given the power to make certain decisions exactly as if the grantor was making the decisions. That authority can be broad or limited in scope.

For example, a power of attorney can be drafted to give the attorney-in-fact the ability to sell or transfer a certain piece of property. Sometimes powers of attorney are drafted to grant the attorney-in-fact the authority to make medical and health related decisions about the grantor. These are usually called health care powers of attorney (or sometimes letters of attorney).

Living Wills, Advance Health Care Directives

A health care power of attorney is not exactly the same as an advance health care directive or a living will. The planning documents like living wills give instructions to whomever ends up in charge of making decisions about the person in need of medical care. A health care power of attorney gives the power to a specific person.

Types of Powers of Attorney

A springing power is one that activates under certain circumstances. For example, a springing power of attorney might take effect when a person becomes legally incapacitated. The grantor has decided that he or she wants a certain person to make the decisions, but only when the grantor is unable to make the decisions himself or herself.

Otherwise, if the power of attorney is not triggered, then it must be activated upon execution. In this case, the attorney-in-fact may have the power to make any decisions that the grantor can make, even if the grantor can still make them.

There are some circumstances where having a power of attorney in place while you are still capable and have legal capacity can be a good idea.

If the power of attorney is durable, then it survives even if you become incapacitated or incompetent. If it is not durable, then it will terminate when you become incapacitated, to better protect you and your assets. For example, you may have intended a power of attorney only for a particular transaction. What if you didn't really trust the attorney-in-fact? The results could be tragic if you didn't trust the person but they were still able to act on your behalf without you being able to do anything to stop them.

If you have questions about powers of attorney, please feel free to contact a Minnesota lawyer like me who can give you more information or help you get the process started.

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Service Areas: I am willing to represent clients throughout Minnesota, including Marshall County, Nobles County, Otter Tail County, Pine County, Red Lake County, Sherburne County, Traverse County, Wadena County, Crow Wing County, or Pipestone County, just to name a few. Whether you are in Minneapolis or Saint Paul, Shoreview, Roseville, Fridley, Edina, Eagan, or Wayzata, or further out in cities like Rochester, Mankato, Saint Cloud, Duluth, I will represent you.