Are you confused with the term power of attorney? Did you know there are even different types of powers of attorney? The good news is there is nothing too difficult to understand or comprehend when it comes to what a power of attorney does.
A power of attorney is when you appoint another person known as an “attorney-in-fact” or “agent” to have legal authority to be in control of your affairs if you happen to become incapacitated. The person who appoints the agent is called the “principal.” The principal can decide on how much powers the agent will have. An agent may only be given the authority to make a decision on just one issue or they can handle a wide range of the principal’s financial or health matters.
Non-durable power of attorney
A non-durable power of attorney is usually used for only a set amount of time to achieve a specific legal or financial transaction. This may be set up to allow an agent to take the place of the principal when a signature is required on a legal document and the principal is unable to physically be present. At the conclusion of the transaction, the agent’s duties will cease.
Durable power of attorney
A durable power of attorney has a broader scope to what an agent can do than what is allowed with a non-durable power of attorney. The agent in this case will be allowed to manage all the affairs for the principal once the principal is unable to. There are no time constraints and the agent will have decision making ability once the principal becomes incapacitated. At the moment of the principal’s death, the duties of the agent expire.
Limited or special power of attorney
Just as it is implied in the name, a limited or special power of attorney is for a one-time transaction. This usually revolves around a banking transaction or to administer the sale of property. This would be used if the principal has a prior commitment and needs someone to step in and act on their behalf.
Medical power of attorney
A medical power of attorney is granting the authority to make specific healthcare decisions once the principal becomes incapacitated. This would take effect once a doctor gives consent and it allows for the agent to authorize all medical decisions on behalf of the principal.
Springing power of attorney
A springing power of attorney is a legal document that needs certain events or conditions to be met before it can come into effect. Usually, it is when the principal is either incapacitated or may be out of the country and will need someone to act on their behalf. This type of power of attorney can either be durable or non-durable and can be used for a wide variety of affairs.
A power of attorney can be crafted in different ways to suit your needs or for a specific outcome that you desire. A power of attorney can be a useful tool to assist you in legal matters when you are not available. It is best to discuss with your attorney the details of what you are looking for to see which powers of attorney will fit your situation the best.