What You Need To Know About Powers Of Attorney

Posted on: 29 June 2015

Giving someone power of attorney can be a useful tool, but the concept confuses many. If you have been advised that you need to complete a POA, you should know that there are several different types that are used for different purposes. For a guide to the four main types of power of attorney, read on.

1.  General Power Of Attorney

This is the most commonly used POA and gives broad powers to the named agent. The general POA is useful when you're planning to be out of the country and need someone to conduct your affairs while you're gone. The powers given by this type of POA include the ability to handle financial and insurance responsibilities and business-related tasks. These types of POAs are usually for a limited period of time.

2.  Special Power Of Attorney

This type of POA is similar to the general POA but allows you to target specific areas, such as real estate or business transactions only. You can have multiple special POAs, with a different agent for each specialized area or task. You can set these POAs to expire on a certain date or with the completion of a specified task.

3.  Health Care Power of Attorney

While a living will can detail your wishes in regards to life support and other specific issues, a health care POA covers any and all medically-related issues. The main function of this type of POA is to address your wishes should you become incapacitated, either physically or mentally and appoints the agent to make any medically-related decisions on your behalf.

4.  Durable Power of Attorney

This type of POA combines the general and health care POAs. A general POA will become void when the grantor becomes unable to make their own decisions, but this type of POA only becomes inactive with the grantor's death. Often used as an estate planning tool, it gives power to the agent to act on the behalf of the grantor in the event that they become incapacitated.

No matter what type of POA you are using, when it comes to choosing your agent, trust is the key. Choose someone who will look out for your best interests and will follow your wishes. Your agent should keep careful records of their actions and keep you informed. Consultation with an estate or general law attorney is vital for the completion of this document to ensure that it does no more or no less than what you want it to do. One professional that may be able to help you is Stimpson & Associates PC.