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The "springing power" may be utilized as the type of Power of Attorney for Financial Management for estate planning purposes in that such power does not take effect unless the maker, called the "Principal," is determined to be incapacitated. In other words, if the Principal is unable to make his or her own financial decisions, commonly determined by two physicians, then the Power of Attorney authorizes the Agent identified in the document to make financial decisions and to control the Principal's assets, but only for the benefit of the incapacitated Principal. This Power of Attorney form applies only to assets that are not funded into the Living Trust, such as retirement plan holdings, and is a companion to the Living Trust document which names the successor trustee to assume control of trust assets if the trust maker, as original trustee, is determined to be incapacitated. An "immediate" Power of Attorney for Financial Management may be utilized as an estate plan document, but usually is limited to naming spouses as Agents or is selected after careful consideration since it may be uncommon to name another person to control the Principal's assets while the Principal is still able.
ROBERT K. SMITH, ATTORNEY