Power of attorney (POA) is a legal document that appoints someone to manage your financial, medical, or legal affairs if you are incapacitated or unable to do so yourself. The attorney-in-fact, or the person who will be making decisions on your behalf, can have general power to act on your behalf or a limited power to act on your behalf depending on the type of POA that was created.
A general power of attorney will give your attorney in fact the most power to act on your behalf. It will give them the power to handle financial and business transactions, buy life insurance, make gifts, control your finances, settle claims, operate business interests, hire employees, or anything else. Generally, a general power of attorney is used in situations where someone is physically or mentally incapable of managing any of their affairs.
A special power of attorney gives your attorney in fact the power to handle only the matter specified in the language of the document. People sometimes use a special power of attorney for things like selling properties, managing real estate, collecting debts, and handling business transactions. People will usually appoint a professional or company in that respective field to act as their attorney in fact.
A health care power of attorney gives your attorney in fact the power to make medical decisions on your behalf if you become mentally incompetent, unconscious or unable to make decisions on your own.
A durable power of attorney allows you to make it clear that you want to give your attorney in fact the power to act as your attorney in fact indefinitely, if that is your wish, in the event you are unable to make decisions on your own. It also allows you to make things clear, like the fact that you don’t want your power of attorney to take effect until a doctor certifies you as mentally incompetent, if that is your wish.
To have a power of attorney appointed you must sign and notarize the original power of attorney document (it’s always a good idea to certify several copies). Most places won’t accept a copy of your power of attorney unless it is the original or it is certified.
The most important thing when deciding who to appoint as your attorney in fact is trust. You need to appoint somebody who you can sincerely trust with your property, your finances, and ultimately, your life. You can appoint multiple attorneys in fact, but if they do not agree with each other when it becomes time to make a decision then having more than one may make things difficult.
If you need power of attorney forms completed, or if you need someone to act as your power of attorney, contact Attorney Williams now for a free consultation.