Does having a power of attorney give the holder the right to give away the belongings of the person that granted it?

Asked on September 2, 2013 under Estate Planning, Tennessee


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

It depends on the power of attorney (POA). A power of attorney can include the power to dispose of personal belongings however the attorney-in-fact sees fit; or it can be more limited in terms of what the attorney-in-fact may do (e.g. may provide power over some piece of real estate, a bank account, or a business, but nothing else) and/or in the purposes the attorney-in-fact may act to accomplish (could limit to doing things necessary to run a business or protect some property, but not dispose of any property). Whatever power the POA grants is what the attorney-in-fact may do. If there is some dispute or question over what is allowed, a court can interpret the document.

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