Rhode Island Power of Attorney

The person you assign powers to in a Rhode Island power of attorney is called the attorney-in-fact. This person does not have to be an attorney, just someone you trust. It is common, especially for estate plan purposes, for your attorney-in-fact to be your spouse. Powers of attorney are a way of granting powers to an attorney-in-fact for any number of different reasons.


Powers of a specific nature can be granted with a special power of attorney. If you want your neighbor to sell your car for you while you are on vacation, leave him the car and a Rhode Island motor vehicle power of attorney. This grants the authority for this person to sign the title for your when the sale is made. Property can be sold the same way with a power of attorney for real estate. A special Rhode Island power of attorney can be created for just about any situation that involves your signature, and you can't be there.


For a broader range of powers you would probably use a Rhode Island nondurable general power of attorney. Your attorney-in-fact could run your life for you with this one. You are granting the power to open your mail, pay your bills, make deposits, transfer funds, manage retirement accounts and even sell property if needed. This power should only be given to someone you trust completely. It is common to use this one in your estate plan, with your spouse named as the attorney-in-fact. It can also be used if you have dual residence and have a trusted friend in each location. They could handle any of your emergency needs, or even pay your bills for you, with one of these. Leaving someone at home with a general power of attorney when leaving the country on vacation is a good idea also.


Your Rhode Island estate planning attorney is going to want to see a couple of durable powers of attorney in your estate plan. A durable power of attorney is one that will stay in effect if you ever become mentally incapacitated. These powers are effective immediately unless you specify them as springing. In that case they do not become effective until you are pronounced incompetent, either from an accident, old age or an illness. Your estate plan should have a durable medical power of attorney and a durable financial power of attorney. Between the two of these, all of your needs should be taken care of.


When your spouse is named as your attorney-in-fact, and you were to file for divorce, be sure and change these forms. They will stay valid until you take care of them. Any Rhode Island power of attorney will be automatically void if the attorney-in-fact cannot be located. It is allowed, and a very good idea, to list an alternative. Working with Rhode Island power of attorney forms is easy once you get the hang of it, visit Legal Zoom and give it a try.


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Marquette, Michigan
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