Celeste Robertson Law

What Are The Different Types of Powers of Attorney?

A power of attorney is a legal document that allows you to appoint someone else to manage your financial, medical, and other personal affairs if you become incapacitated.

There are various types of powers of attorney, each with its own set of circumstances in which they can be used.

General Power of Attorney

A general power of attorney allows you to appoint an agent to act on your behalf in any matter. It is most often used for property management, but it can also be used for health care decisions. A general power of attorney does not expire unless you revoke it.

Durable Power of Attorney

A durable power of attorney (DPA) is similar to a general power of attorney, but the difference lies in its duration. A DPA only takes effect once you become incapacitated, meaning it only comes into play when you are unable to handle matters on your own behalf due to illness or injury. Once signed, a DPA remains valid unless revoked by the principal or until the principal dies.

Limited or Special Power of Attorney

A limited power of attorney gives someone else the ability to act on your behalf in a specific area only—for example, signing documents on your behalf in a business transaction. A special power of attorney gives someone else the ability to make all decisions regarding your health care or medical treatment, including medical decisions not related to emergencies.

Medical Powers of Attorney

Medical powers are used when an individual is unable to make their own medical decisions due to illness or injury. They allow another person (usually a spouse or family member) to speak on behalf of the incapacitated individual and give consent for medical procedures such as surgeries or other treatments that require doctor approval before proceeding.

Financial Powers of Attorney

A financial power of attorney gives you permission to make financial decisions on behalf of someone else when you are unable to make those decisions for yourself This is usually used in cases where someone has been incapacitated for some reason, such as due to illness or injury.

Springing Powers of Attorney

A springing power of attorney is similar to a financial power of attorney except that it allows the agent to act on behalf of the grantor when they are physically present (i.e., not incapacitated). Springing powers of attorney are rarely used because they do not provide for any kind of advance decision-making authority on behalf of the grantor; therefore, some courts will not recognize them as valid unless there is some other formality involved (such as an attestation clause).


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