What Are the Different Types of Powers of Attorney?
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The responsibility of Power of Attorney or PoA is granted to a person or persons that you would trust with your financial and/or medical decisions. These persons are called agents or representatives. They have to be reliable, sensible and make major decisions that protect your interests. If two people are appointed for this undertaking, are two signatures needed at all times on specific documents? The duties of each person should be discussed, including the extent of their authority, and all these decisions should be written in the document.
Powers of Attorney:
The Conventional Document
A conventional version of a PoA will grant the agent authority beginning the moment it is signed and will remain in effect until you are mentally unable to make sound decisions. The name of the person and the authority you have placed in their care must be written in the document. When you become unable to make decisions, this document is no longer valid.
The General Durable Document
The General Durable PoA goes into effect immediately and will last throughout your lifetime. This document grants the agent the decision making authorities that have been listed in the document. The agent should be made aware of his duties and when you want him to begin exercising the financial authority granted:
- Managing your bank account deposits and withdrawals
- Selling, buying or trading stocks or other assets
- Paying your creditors
The Durable Health Care Power of Attorney Document
The Durable Health Care PoA document can list anyone you chose that is trustworthy to make medical decisions concerning your welfare if you become incapacitated. This document only becomes effective upon your incapacity. The agent makes medical choices on your behalf when you can no longer do so, such as:
- Will you stay at home to recuperate with round the clock care?
- Is a nursing home or hospice needed?
- Recuperating from a serious operation and unable to operate a business is another good reason to have a power of attorney.
- Making major decisions to operate your business
- Acquiring new sub-divisions
- Hiring staff; and
- Any other medical decisions you permit in your Health Care PoA
The Springing Document
With a Springing PoA, you do not grant any agent authority over your affairs until you become incapacitated. Think about this type of PoA like a backup plan that “springs” into action if you have lost the ability to make your daily decisions. Upon your incapacity your chosen agent is granted the authority to make those decisions you have enumerated in your Springing PoA on your behalf as long as you remain incapacitated.
Common Characteristics Among Powers of Attorney
The person you choose will be making decisions that concern your financial or medical well-being if you become mentally impaired. These documents have a variety of uses and help protect you in case of an accident that causes severe injuries, Dementia, Alzheimer’s, Multiple Sclerosis or any disease or disability that inhibits your mental faculties.
Power of attorney documents can be canceled or revoked at any time with no explanation (as long as you are still mentally competent to do so). A new document can be obtained if your circumstances have changed, the two agents don’t get along or you disagree with how your business is being handled. A new agent can be selected to run your affairs. Any time you make changes to your PoA or revoke a PoA you must inform your agent and contact all the businesses that you deal with to inform them that the power of attorney and the agent’s authority has been canceled.
A Power of Attorney document can save a person’s assets and give them piece of mind, especially in an emergency.
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