What is Power of Attorney?

What are powers of attorney and how do I use them

Who would take over your finances and health care decisions if you could not due to medical reasons? While most people do not want to think about incapacity planning or a power of attorney agent, it is a question that answers can be helpful to families during unexpected and stressful life events. It is also where powers of attorney come in. If you have heard the term, power of attorney, before but are unsure what it is, you are not alone. So, what is power of attorney?

To be clear, a power of attorney is a legal document and recognition that allows one individual to make financial and health care decisions for another who can no longer.

Types of Power of Attorney

Regarding estate planning, establishing power of attorney can be a smart move for the future. Nonetheless, many individuals overlook it until they need it later down the road. This is one of the major estate planning mistakes we see people make in their executor checklist.

Power of attorney options include:

  • Non-durable power of attorney
  • A durable power of attorney
  • Special or limited power of attorney (such as finances)
  • A medical power of attorney
  • Springing power of attorney

The best type for you will depend on your individual needs and circumstances.

How to Use the Power of Attorney

How you use power of attorney depends on which type of power of attorney is in question. For example, with a springing power of attorney, the legal role becomes effective in the future and only after incapacitation occurs.

On the other hand, non-durable or limited powers of attorney can vary. Professional legal help can simplify these processes. Our Albany estate planning lawyers can help you draft your paperwork.

When planning your estate, power of attorney can serve a useful purpose. It may be worth keeping in mind as you think about your future.


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