A Power Of Attorney (POA) allows you to choose someone to legally act on your behalf. The person you select is legally allowed to handle financial and medical matters for you if you are unable to do so.
Medical Power of Attorney
When you make a medical power of attorney -- more commonly called a "durable power of attorney for health care" -- you name a trusted person to oversee your medical care and make health care decisions for you if you are unable to do so. Your health care agent will work with your health care providers to make sure you get the kind of medical care you wish to receive. When arranging your care, your agent is legally bound to follow your treatment preferences to the extent that he or she knows about them.
Financial Power of Attorney
A financial power of attorney gives someone the authority to handle financial transactions on your behalf. Some financial powers of attorney are very simple and used for single transactions, such as closing a real estate deal. With a durable power of attorney for finances, you can give a trusted person as much authority over your finances as you like. The person you name is usually called your "agent" or "attorney-in-fact," though he or she most definitely doesn't have to be an attorney.
Power of Attorney FAQs
What is a Power of Attorney?
A Power of Attorney is a legal document that gives a person the right to act on behalf of another. A Power of Attorney may be used to give someone the right to sell your property, provide access to bank accounts, sign contracts, or make other decisions on your behalf.
How do I give someone Power of Attorney?
Power of Attorney is a very powerful legal document and should be drawn up by a lawyer to meet your specific circumstances, and protect your interests.
What is a Limited Power of Attorney?
Limited Power of Attorney gives a person authority to only conduct specific actions on your behalf. For instance, you may give your brother Power of Attorney to sell your car on your behalf and nothing more.
What is General Power of Attorney?
General Power of Attorney gives a person power to perform any legal act on your behalf. Under this broad power, a list of the specific activities allowed must be included in the legal document.
What is Durable Power of Attorney?
Under normal circumstances, Power of Attorney ends when you become incapacitated unless you draw up Durable Power of Attorney papers. Durable Power of Attorney stays in effect even after a person becomes incapacitated, except in certain conditions.
Who can be given Power of Attorney?
Any competent person 18 years or older can be granted Power of Attorney. Careful consideration should be made when giving someone Power of Attorney over any matter.