Myth 1: Only my lawyer can be a power of attorney
Much of the confusion surrounding powers of attorney and what they do comes from the name. Powers of attorney are just a kind of document, one through which you can choose someone else to make legally enforceable decisions on your behalf. The person you choose becomes known as your “attorney-in-fact.” However, that is merely a title, and it conveys no requirement that the person you choose must be a lawyer. You can choose anyone you like as long as that person is a legally competent adult and is willing to serve as your attorney-in-fact.
Myth 2: Once I make a power of attorney I can no longer make my own choices.
Wrong. When you make a power of attorney you retain the absolute ability to revoke it or change it whenever you like. You are never obligated to create a power of attorney, and when you make one you can still make your own choices.
The only time when you may not be able to revoke the power of attorney is when you make what is known as a durable power. Durable powers give your attorney-in-fact the ability to act if you lose the ability to make choices. What this means is, your attorney-in-fact can act, for example, after you’ve been in a car accident and are comatose. In this situation, you are not able to revoke your power of attorney because you cannot legally make choices. However, once you regain your ability, you have the same power to change or revoke the power of attorney whenever you want.
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