Q: Can I got a question?My spouse is bedridden,,Went to the bank yesterday to "redo" his IRA.took my "General Power of Attny".. and the bank would not accept this..they had to have a "Durable Power of Attny".. that had been filed at the courthouse..:( .. fortunately,I was able to take the papers home where my spouse could sign them..but to make a long story short. What is the difference between a "General" and a "Durable" POA ?? guess I'll have to see a lawyer .. Is that right?
A: -A general power is voided when the person granting it becomes incabable of revoking it. This could be because of a mental or physical disability. If you produce a general power the person receiving it does not know if the grantor is disabled or not. A durable power should be written to continue in force even if the grantor becomes physically or mentally incable of revoking it. A POA should list what powers are being granted, in gory detail. Broad categories, such as a power for financial purposes, a power for selling. buying, transferring, etc real property, a power for health care, and others, should be spelled out in detail. In most states, a durable power should be notarized and also witnessed by disinterested parties. A general power usually reqires notarization but not witnesses. All powers of attorney are voided when the grantor dies -Normally, a power of attorney expires when the person who gives the power either becomes incompetent (normally mentally) or dies. A durable power of attorney (not accepted in all states) allows you to continue to act for your spouse even if he becomes incompetent. Check with a local stationery/legal forms shop. There may be a standard for that is satisfactory. They have them here in California, at least. -General" and "durable" are two separate, unrelated, concepts. "General" refers to the scope of the powers. A "general" power of attorney grants the broadest powers, compared to a "special" power of attorney, which can be limited to a particular transaction or type of transaction. (For example, you could sign a special power of attorney authorizing someone else to sell your house, but nothing else.) "Durable" refers to whether or not the power of attorney is affected by a disability. So you could have a "durable general power of attorney" or a "durable special power of attorney" or a "nondurable general power of attorney" etc. I'm not sure if this is really necessary in all states. And I hate the idea of creating long, tedious, documents if they don't really need to be that long. Years ago, I read an interesting story about general powers of attorney in England. It seems that, during the second World War, English soldiers held prisoner by the Germans were allowed to send letters home, but they could not exceed six lines in length. Many of the soldiers wanted to give their wives powers of attorney, and one of the soldiers who was a lawyer prepared a form of power of attorney that was only six lines long, as follows: "I, a prisoner of war, irrevocably appoint for one year my wife who became my attorney for all purposes with power to do anything I might myself do including the execution and delivery of any documents and I indemnify any person acting hereunder." A British judge remarked that he had never seen such an odd document, but that he was bound to confess that it contained everything that was necessary and wondered why powers of attorney were normally so lengthy. (108 Solicitors' Journal 454, June 5, 1964) I spend a great deal of my time trying to make documents shorter, not longer, so I am not comfortable with the idea that it is necessary (or even better) to make them longer.
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