Archive for the ‘Power Of Attorney’ Category

Essential Information about Durable Power of Attorney

When most people think of Power Of Attorney, what comes to mind is usually basic information that’s not particularly interesting or beneficial. But there’s a lot more to Power Of Attorney than just the basics.

A durable power of attorney is a practical option for an elderly who wants to plan how his or her properties, business, and other affairs will be managed when time comes he or she is mentally unable to do so. It is especially useful for people who are suffering from a debilitating health condition such as Alzheimer?s disease or are going to stay in a nursing home.

Right after you and your agent have signed the documents, the durable powers of attorney take effect until they are revoked by the principal. The document is terminated at the death of the principal. Durable powers of attorney are named that way because no additional corrections to the documents are necessary once the principal becomes mentally incapacitated. Thus, this type of powers of attorney is an enduring one since it remains in effect even if the principal is mentally incapable of making decisions for himself or herself.

Durable powers of attorney are classified into two general types: health care and financial. As the name suggests, health care durable powers of attorney authorize a person, who is called an agent or an attorney-in-fact, to make all the needed choices regarding health care and hospitalization on behalf of the principal. The decisions can be made by the agent once the principal is no longer able to do it for himself or herself. This type of durable powers of attorney takes effect when the principal has become mentally incapacitated or has a terminal disease. It grants the agent the right to decide on what to do with the principal?s remains after his or her death, as well as donate the organs for educational, scientific, or transplant purposes.

How can you put a limit on learning more? The next section may contain that one little bit of wisdom that changes everything.

What if I have not appointed someone as an agent to oversee of my health care, you might ask. If nobody has powers of attorney to act on your behalf and you are already unconscious or mentally incapable, the courts will assign someone to make health care decisions for you.

The second type of durable powers of attorney is financial in nature. It is defined as the full legal authority given to another individual to be responsible for all your finance-related affairs, including filing income tax returns and paying the bills. The agent can even sign documents on behalf of the principal.

This agent is allowed to handle all the principal?s finances except the assets owned by the revocable living trust. Examples of assets outside the living trust include pension plans, annuities, and IRAs (individual retirement accounts). These assets are managed by the attorney-in-fact designated by the principal who owns the assets. As with a living trust, durable powers of attorney protect the privacy of the principal as well as prevent delays in financial transactions.

It pays to plan your estate before you become unable to manage things by yourself. On that note, it is important to have a durable power of attorney ready so that you can rest assured that someone you trust will manage all your finances, assets, and health care issues instead of a person appointed by the courts.

If you’ve picked some pointers about Power Of Attorney that you can put into action, then by all means, do so. You won’t really be able to gain any benefits from your new knowledge if you don’t use it.

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Types Of Power Of Attorney

Power of attorney is not a person or some kind of law. It is a document that allows a person to represent another to handle their business and other personal affairs. This often happens when the principal or the grantor (the one who is authorizing another person to act in their stead) is unavailable or not present when the deal comes through. This is very common among executives of corporations especially those in the higher ups, who need to take care of business in all parts of the globe. If they cannot make it to one area, they usually send a representative with a power of attorney to sign their documents for them.

In corporations, the grantee or the proxy (the one given the power of attorney) is often an attorney to keep things legal but in truth, anybody can be given a power of attorney, even those who are not lawyers. In fact, this is why proxies like these are often called attorney in fact to differentiate them from attorney at law. In the United States, the word attorney is commonly used to refer to them.

There are however many types of power of attorney depending on the nature of the contract, the scope of the power and the period that it is valid. The most common is of course the general power of attorney which authorizes the agent to act on your behalf and to represent you in dealings and other matters. It covers all kinds of transactions. The validity of the agreement or the contract will of course be stated on the document.

Think about what you’ve read so far. Does it reinforce what you already know about Power Of Attorney? Or was there something completely new? What about the remaining paragraphs?

The special power of attorney on the other hand only gives an agent the authority to act specific matters. For instance, you can authorize an agent to sign a business contract for you but only that business contract and no other documents. Some are also given a section, for instance, a special power of attorney to look into the financial matters and to manage it and sign documents pertaining only to financials.

A power of attorney will only last on the stated date and if there is no date specified, it will cease to be effective when the principal becomes gravely ill, incapacitated or mentally incompetent.

The Health Care power of attorney is one that allows a grantee of the document to decide on your health care service should the principal be deemed incapable of making a decision. This is very sensitive because the grantee will have the power to allow or disallow health care and will even be able to decide if hospitals will pull the plug in case the principal falls into a coma. There is also what they call the Psychiatric Advance Directives, which gives the grantee the right to decide for the care and treatment of someone who is mentally ill. Sometimes, this is appointed by the parents or by the courts, depending on who had guardianship on the person.

Anytime, the power of attorney given to a person can be revoked regardless of the specified period stated in the document. This is especially true when trust has been broken.

This article’s coverage of the information is as complete as it can be today. But you should always leave open the possibility that future research could uncover new facts.

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What Is The Durable Power Of Attorney For?

The power of attorney is a legal document that authorizes a person or organization to act on financial and business matters affairs of a person referred to as the principal. The person or organization that receives authority is called the agent or the attorney-in-fact.

The durable power of attorney is called such, since the attorney-in-fact would continue to have authority and act on behalf of the principal, even if the principal becomes incapacitated. Though the durable power of attorney has such characteristic, it is still important for the document to state that it would remain valid even if the principal becomes incapacitated or disabled.

The durable power of attorney can be useful in situations when the principal is seriously ill, disabled, and if their property is modest but do not need setting up fund trusts or guardianship. This is also favourable for married couples whose account is joined.

The durable power of attorney is also referred to as the health care power of attorney. In many situations, the health care power of attorney is different from the agent who would oversee financial and business matters. The attorney-in-fact who is given the durable power of attorney is required to make decisions related to the principal?s health like stopping life support or performing surgery.

Laws on how the power of attorney should be created are different on each state. For example, in South Carolina, the preparation for the power of attorney is the same as preparing for a will. In California, notarization in the documents is important but this may not be the case in some states. This is why it is important to have knowledge on legal matters and employ legal assistance when making the document.

A possible problem with the durable power of attorney is that the principal may not want the attorney-in-fact to take specific liberties. The principal could specify in the document what specific decisions the durable power of attorney can make. Aside from that, the document could specify that the durable power of attorney could take effect in the event the principal becomes disabled.

The durable power of attorney could cover different decisions and responsibilities, aside from health care decisions, like:

? Providing gifts which can play a major part in estate tax planning.

Now that we’ve covered those aspects of Power Of Attorney, let’s turn to some of the other factors that need to be considered.

? Accessing safe-deposit boxes.

? Signing tax returns, IRS documents, and settling tax disputes.

? Pursuing legal matters or litigation on behalf of the principal.

? Collecting benefits from health and other insurances on behalf of the principal.

? Setting up or amending trust funds.

? Revoking the power of attorney.

Laws covering the power of attorney vary in each state. For example, if the attorney-in-fact is the spouse and they get a divorce, the power of attorney is terminated. The court may also rule the document to be invalid, especially if the principal is proven to be incompetent when the document was signed. The principal could also revoke it, as long as he is mentally sound.

The power of attorney could also be terminated if the attorney-in-fact becomes incompetent, unavailable or dies. To avoid problems, the principal could identify an alternate attorney-in-fact and state it in the document. Make sure to identify the situations when the alternate would take responsibility.

When word gets around about your command of Power Of Attorney facts, others who need to know about Power Of Attorney will start to actively seek you out.

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Four Main Types of Power of Attorney

The best course of action to take sometimes isn’t clear until you’ve listed and considered your alternatives. The following paragraphs should help clue you in to what the experts think is significant.

If you want to authorize anyone or any organization to properly handle your affairs while you are unable to do so or while you are unavailable, you should get a power of attorney. It is a document that summarizes and proves your agreement to give your appointed person (the agent or attorney-in-fact) the authority to act on your behalf.

There are four main types of power of attorney that you could choose from. These types may be functional and useful depending on your need and requirements. They are: general, special, healthcare, and durable power of attorney.

A general power of attorney is a document that gives your agent a broad authority in handling your affairs. This authority usually includes handling of your banking transactions, purchasing and disposing properties, settling claims, exercising stock rights, entering into deals or contracts, filing tax returns, and buying life insurance. It is usually used to enable your appointed agent the power to handle your important transactions within a specified period when you are practically unable to do them personally.

Sometimes the most important aspects of a subject are not immediately obvious. Keep reading to get the complete picture.

The special power of attorney provides your agent specific powers. You would decide on those specifics. Unlike the general power of attorney, the special power attorney does not give the agent a broad range of coverage. It only specifies how he/she should act. The document should specify which activities the agent should do. Transactions that are not included in the provisions could not in any way be managed or handled by the person.

The healthcare power of attorney designates the agent as a person who should make proper healthcare decisions for you if you get mentally incompetent or unconscious. If you would not be able to make logical decisions due to health reasons, the agent would be authorized to do so in your behalf. However, take note that the healthcare power of attorney is not the same as a living will, which is a document to express your personal wishes in case you would need life-sustaining procedures.

The durable power of attorney could be a general, healthcare or special power of attorney containing specific durability provisions. In case you suddenly get mentally incapacitated while any of the three kinds of power of attorney is in effect, the durability provision of the document would allow the agent to stay as your attorney-in-fact indefinitely. In the durable power of attorney, you are acknowledging the possibility that you could become mentally or totally incompetent because of any accident or illness. For this power of attorney to take effect there has to be a genuine certification from a doctor to prove the incompetence.

In every power of attorney you would get into, it is always important to make sure you are choosing and agent or an attorney-in-fact who is very trustworthy and reliable. He/She should be able to uphold only your best interest when doing transactions and making decisions on your behalf. You may fully entrust into him/her the authority and power to handle and manage your money or assets.

Hopefully the sections above have contributed to your understanding of Power Of Attorney. Share your new understanding about Power Of Attorney with others. They’ll thank you for it.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Power of Attorney

If you are considering getting a power of attorney, you should fully understand what it is all about. In general, it is a legal requirement that you be in a competent and normal state of mind when getting a power or attorney or appointing a person to be your attorney-in-fact. However, it could be very hard to prove that you are not well when you do so. It would be safe to get that document even if you are in the pink of health or even if you do not foresee any event that would make you unable to handle your affairs.

There are several frequently asked questions about this subject. It would be wise to be more familiar about power of attorney to fully understand how it could be of best use for you.

Do I need to appoint a lawyer as an agent?

The agent is also usually called the attorney-in-fact. You could appoint a lawyer as your agent. However, it is not a requirement. In fact, you could appoint just about anyone (in legal age) as your attorney-in-fact. The appointment and authorization should be clearly stated in the legal document (a power of attorney is actually a legally effective document).

How is the power of attorney created?

You can see that there’s practical value in learning more about Power Of Attorney. Can you think of ways to apply what’s been covered so far?

You need to completely fill out a specific power of attorney form. It should state yourself as the principal and identify the agent you are appointing to take authority on your affairs if you become unable to do so. Of course, it is a requirement that your appointed agent agree to take the authority you are giving. The document should be duly witnessed by a lawyer or a notary public. For the durable power of attorney, you should seek guidance from your private lawyer when doing the provisions or content of the document.

Is it possible to make a power of attorney if I get mentally incapacitated?

It is not in any way possible to do so. As mentioned, there is a requirement by law for you to fully understand what you are getting into for the document to take full effect. It is advisable that you make a power of attorney even if you do not feel any illness or you do not expect any event that would incapacitate your mental state. It is always ideal to be prepared.

Could the power of attorney be revoked?

Of course, it could be revoked especially if you are no longer comfortable about the kind of service or performance your agent is giving you. Be reminded that it is your right to revoke any authority you provide a person through a power of attorney anytime. You should accomplish a revocation form and distribute copies to all institutions and agencies that could be concerned with transactions, including hospitals and banks. Your agent should also formally receive a copy of that revocation.

As for the durable power of attorney, you could do two actions. First, you could get into a new durable power of attorney to name a new person as your attorney-in-fact or agent. Second, you could decide to handle all your own affairs.

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Choosing The Best Agent For Your Power Of Attorney

Current info about Power Of Attorney is not always the easiest thing to locate. Fortunately, this report includes the latest Power Of Attorney info available.

Ever wondered how your modest properties or finances would be managed, in case something happens to you or you would have to go somewhere? Then think about the power of attorney. The power of attorney is a legal document that would enable you to grant a person or organization control over your financial and business matters.

The person who is signing or creating the power of attorney is called the principal, while the person who would be awarded with authority is called the attorney-in-fact or the agent. Since the power of attorney would provide the agent the control over banking, credit and other financial issues, it is important to be made carefully which is why legal assistance is importance.

There are two kinds of power of attorney, the specific and the general. The specific power of attorney identifies particular transaction when the document would take effect. While, the general power of attorney could cover different personal and business transactions.

When choosing the person who would best represent the interest of the principal, it is important to consider several factors.

? Age. If you are considering your child to be the attorney-in-fact, then you would have to take note of the age. Laws on creating the power of attorney are different on each state. But almost all of the laws agree that no agent should be below 18 or 21 years old.

? Time. When choosing the best agent to represent you, then it may be important to consider the amount of time they can spend on managing financial and legal matters.

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? Location. Choosing an agent who does not have to be far from the principal and the property is a better choice.

? Capability. It is important to consider an agent that has the ability to manage the principal?s property and legal matters. The agent is showing problems with managing their own finances, then it may not be a good idea to trust your own finances to them.

? Work experience. It may be important to choose an agent or an attorney-in-fact that has experience or level of expertise in finances or in legal matters.

? Organization and documentation skills. The principal may need the attorney-in-fact to track and properly document the different transactions made whether it is for personal, business or government purposes.

Another thing to consider is determining the spouse as the attorney-in-fact. Most military personnel would provide the power of attorney to their spouses especially if they are away in combat. A close relative could be work as an alternate.

It does not always have to be relative or a family member, some would get a non-relative attorney-in-fact. If the principal is also a bit uncomfortable on assigning a lot of responsibilities on one agent, then h/she could get other co-agents. It could be done as long as the information or the limitation of the capabilities is specified in the power of attorney. Before specifying the name of the agent in the power of attorney, the principal should talk to the agents first and ask them if they are willing to be agents.

There are no organizations, departments or governing agency that would monitor the agent, it would rely on the principal and the principal?s relatives to monitor if the agent is carrying what is stipulated in the power of attorney.

Now you can understand why there’s a growing interest in Power Of Attorney. When people start looking for more information about Power Of Attorney, you’ll be in a position to meet their needs.

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An Insight On The Different Types Of Power Of Attorney

There are different types of power of attorney. These are meant to ensure that the needs of the principal is properly addressed and provided for. When preparing or creating a power of attorney, it is important to get lawyer assistance.

They would be able to help you identify what type of power of attorney would be best suitable for your needs.

? General power of attorney

The general power of attorney provides the attorney-in-fact (or agent) authority in all situations unless specified by the document. General power of attorney would include accessing safe deposit boxes, setting up trusts, transferring assets to trust funds, filing tax returns, entering contracts, representing the principal (signor of the document) and buying and selling property.

This type of power of attorney would be valid unless specified by the document, the principal dies or revokes the document, or the document specifies that it would end upon the event when the principal gets incapacitated or disabled.

? Specific power of attorney

If the attorney-in-fact is only granted authority over specific transactions like collecting debts, buying and selling property, then it is referred to as the specific power of attorney. The attorney-in-fact would only perform duties specified in the document until the principal revokes the document. Aside from revoking, both general and specific power of attorney is discontinued upon the principal?s incapacity and death.

? Non-durable power of attorney

Hopefully the information presented so far has been applicable. You might also want to consider the following:

The clear characteristic of the non-durable power of attorney is that it is for short-term transactions only. In a situation when the principal could not handle a transaction, then this type may be more suitable. Usually, this kind of power of attorney has an expiration. When the principal becomes incapacitated or is no longer able to provide authority for the continuation of the power of attorney, the document is no longer valid.

? Durable power of attorney

Unlike the non-durable type, the durable power of attorney can continue even after the principal becomes incapacitated or becomes incompetent in making decisions. The durable power of attorney can be terminated if the principal would terminate it or in the event of the principal?s death.

Durable power of attorney could cover health and care decisions, like discontinuing life support or surgery. It could also include financial matters unless specified by the document and the principal.

? Springing power of attorney

The springing power of attorney would ?spring? in a specific event which is specified by the power of attorney. It could be an event of disability, illness or travel abroad. it would only be valid, if there are doctor or doctors which identified that the principal is indeed incapacitated.

However, it may pose some problems since mentally incapacitated is defined subjectively and difficult to determine. So it is not recommended that durable power of attorney would be ?springing.?

? Health care power of attorney

This power of attorney is specified for only health care issues and is commonly used by principals who are suffering from terminal or mental illnesses. This kind of power of attorney is only contained in medical scope and could not be used for other duties.

So now you know a little bit about Power Of Attorney. Even if you don’t know everything, you’ve done something worthwhile: you’ve expanded your knowledge.

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Preparing for Your Future? Consider a Health Care or Medical Power of Attorney

If you have already reached the prime of your life, it is a wise move to create a power of attorney that designates a trusted person who will make choices regarding your health care and finances on your behalf when you are no longer mentally capable of doing so. That person, which is also called the attorney-in-fact or agent, can be a relative or a friend and doesn?t necessarily have to be a lawyer. You can grant a medical, health care, or both types of powers of attorney to secure your future as well as your health and assets.

Medical powers of attorney particularly involve medical care decisions that agents make for their principals. You still need one even if you already have drafted a living will. Medical powers of attorney and living wills are two different legal documents. The former merely authorizes a person to make important medical care decisions such as those regarding use of life support when the principal is mentally incapable of doing this for himself or herself. On the other hand, a living will indicates what a person wants to happen regarding his or her medical care when time comes life support is necessary.

Medical powers of attorney are not only beneficial for elderly people who are suffering from serious diseases. Younger people who have had an accident or are suffering from a health problem that renders them unconscious can also use these powers of attorney. In any case, you can choose a person who you trust the most to decide on your behalf according to the available information at that time.

That person who you assign as your agent must perform whatever you require even if it runs contrary to his or her own wishes for you. If you want something to happen in a specific situation in the future, your agent must follow your orders even if it is against their will to keep you alive despite your health condition.

How can you put a limit on learning more? The next section may contain that one little bit of wisdom that changes everything.

Choosing an agent who will make medical care decisions for you is not enough. You also need to discuss with your agent your wishes in specific instances such as the kind of medications you want and don?t want to take when you are unconscious. In doing so, you can rest assured that everything goes smoothly as you planned when you are mentally incapacitated.

Another power that you can grant to a trusted person concerns your health care. Health care powers of attorney refer to legal documents that designate someone to make financial decisions for your estate should you become disabled, in which case you cannot make decisions on your own.

Once you become mentally disabled, your agent gains responsibility of handling all your finances. An agent or attorney-in-fact who handles your health care differs from a successor in a living trust. The agent is allowed to manage your finances while you are still alive, while a successor gains control of your assets only after your death.

Illnesses can happen to anyone at anytime, so it is important to have a medical or a health care power of attorney while it is still early rather than to let your family members become confused about making decisions regarding your medical and health care.

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Power of Attorney 101

Do you ever feel like you know just enough about Power Of Attorney to be dangerous? Let’s see if we can fill in some of the gaps with the latest info from Power Of Attorney experts.

We often hear the word ?power of attorney? in TV shows and read them in books. The phrase seems to be a moot point already. After all, what other power do attorneys need than the legal ones, given to them when they became lawyers? What exactly is a power of attorney?

Power of attorney does not refer to a ?power? intrinsic to the lawyer or attorney. It is actually given to a person even if he or she is not a lawyer. Still, many of those who are given the power of attorney are lawyers, often family lawyers who are trusted to deal with a wide range of things. When you are given the power of attorney, a person is authorizing you to act on their behalf in personal and business matters that have legal issues. They can sign your documents and decide for you while you are away or incapable of making decisions yourself.

Although the word attorney is a synonym to a lawyer, in United States, it is mostly used to refer to these people who are given the power of attorney. They are also called agents because they also serve as liaison officers and go-between or more formally, attorney-in-fact because they are only licensed by a common person.

If you base what you do on inaccurate information, you might be unpleasantly surprised by the consequences. Make sure you get the whole Power Of Attorney story from informed sources.

Because it can have legal consequences, the transfer of power or the authorizing is written as a legal contract, which is shown to people before the ?attorney-in-fact? can proceed with his dealings on behalf of the client or the principal. Often, when the attorney-in-fact is being paid, a separate contract is drafted for the payment and is not shown to other people. A principal must of course be of a good mental state when giving the power of attorney.

Principals who are physically injured, sick or mentally unhealthy are deemed incapable of giving power of attorneys. When power of attorneys are given under these circumstances, all the legal documents the ?agent? signs or agrees to will not be honored in court and will be deemed ineffective. Also, the scope of the power of attorney will also become ineffective when the principal dies or becomes incapacitated, meaning if they suddenly suffer from an illness, physical or mental.

Although some countries accept an oral power of attorney, in the United States, the written contract is still important. Some states also accept the electronic power of attorney as long as the document is proven legitimate and legal. There are different kinds of power of attorney given to people. It may be general or special, which is limited to only one type of dealing or issue. It all depends on the principal. There is also the scope of the power of attorney. Often, it only takes effect within a certain period of time.

As mentioned before, it will not be valid when the principal dies or falls ill unless it is stated in the contract that the power of attorney will continue when illness occurs. This is called the durable power of attorney. When the principal dies, the power of attorney will automatically be ineffective.

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What are the Different Types of Power of Attorney? 

You will never know what to expect in the future, so it pays to prepare everything before the going gets tough. That includes planning how to and who will handle your finances, business, and other personal matters should you become unable to do so. This is where the power of attorney comes in. It is a document that allows a person to grant legal authority to another person to make decisions regarding finances, business, medications, health care, and other personal affairs on his or her behalf.

In general, a principal can choose from four types of powers that he or she can give to his or her agent (also called the attorney-in-fact).

The right type to choose depends on the extent of power you want to bestow on your agent. It also depends on when you prefer to start appointing such power to your agent as well as when you want the power terminated. 
1. General – This legal document allows the attorney-in-fact to act for the principal in almost every aspect of his or her life. It even authorizes the agent to gain access to the principal?s safety deposit boxes or to handle all the properties of the principal.

The effectivity of this document ends when the principal dies or becomes mentally disabled. Because of its seemingly unlimited nature, the general power must be considered thoroughly before it is given to another person. It is advised that this type of power be used sparingly because it is prone to abuse and misuse of power by the agent. 

It’s really a good idea to probe a little deeper into the subject of Power Of Attorney. What you learn may give you the confidence you need to venture into new areas.

2. Limited – This document, in contrast to the general type, authorizes the agent to make decisions for the principal on particular affairs for a limited time. That means the authority ends at the period indicated on the document. Just like the previous legal document type, it also ends at the death, mental illness, or disability of the principal. 

3. Durable – It grants the agent the right to act on the principal?s behalf even after he or she has become mentally incapacitated. Thus, the agent can make crucial decisions for you when you are unable to do so. The document takes effect right after the principal and attorney-in-fact have signed it, and it ends when the principal dies.  

4. Springing – This legal document is created in such a way that it takes effect only after the principal has become mentally disabled. When writing the document, one has to make sure that it clearly explains how to determine the occurrence of the springing event. 

You may also consider using separate powers of attorney to designate another person who will be responsible for your health care and finances. For example, a financial power of attorney allows the agent to perform certain tasks such as handling your properties or paying your bills when you cannot do it, such as when you are out of the country or hospitalized for a brief period.

The legal documents for each authority to be granted must indicate the terms that the agent must follow to act out your needs and wishes.  

Don’t limit yourself by refusing to learn the details about Power Of Attorney. The more you know, the easier it will be to focus on what’s important.

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