Powers of Attorney

A power of attorney is a critical estate planning tool that allows you to appoint another person, the “attorney-in-fact,” to make legal and financial decisions on your behalf. It can be used for convenience purposes or to address any period where you are incapacitated and unable to make your own decisions. There are two types of powers of attorney recognized in Minnesota, the statutory short form power of attorney, as provided in Minnesota Statutes, and the common law power of attorney. The statutory short form power of attorney is more common and recognized by most institutions in Minnesota. The common law power of attorney is less common but more flexible to address unique circumstances.

The person you appoint as your attorney-in-fact should be someone you trust to make decisions in your best interest. You can list a primary option for attorney-in-fact and back-ups in case the primary option is unwilling or unable to act. Any attorney-in-fact acting on your behalf must keep complete records of all transactions.

If you become incapacitated, and do not have a valid power of attorney in place, your loved ones may be forced to petition the court for a conservatorship, which is expensive and time consuming. Contact one of our estate planning attorneys to determine which type of power of attorney is right for you.

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