Q: Can you please explain the difference between Power of Attorney and Power of Attorney Plus
I'll assume the phrase "power of attorney plus" is akin to a durable power of attorney as it relates to the term nondurable power of attorney. The former is a general authorization for a person's ("principal's") designated person ("agent") to act for or on behalf of the principal. Contrary to a nondurable power of attorney, which is used for a specific transaction, a durable power of attorney is broad in scope and is in effect until revoked by the principal, or upon that principal's death.
An example of use for a nondurable power of attorney is when one needs to close on a sale of a residence or business and is traveling abroad or is not otherwise available to attend. An agent (often an attorney) is given a notarized nondurable power of attorney to facilitate execution of that transaction. An example of a durable power of attorney is when the principal is not physically or mentally competent to make a decision, and prior to reaching that state (or by court order) authorizes an agent to act on their behalf.
While an agent is obligated to act in the principal's best interests, one must be careful as a power of attorney is a powerful document that can be abused, particularly durable powers of attorney. Indeed, an unscrupulous agent can abuse that authority and transfer the principal's assets or property to themselves or others. Make sure the agent is trustworthy, and provide for an auditing mechanism by you or a disinterested third party where feasible to help ensure that all is handled properly. Also remember that different jurisdictions have different rules for powers of attorney, so the assistance of council is recommended.
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