A “Financial” or general Power of Attorney gives an individual the authority or capacity to handle all or some of the principal’s affairs. This power is not without limitation, as the agent, or person to whom the power is granted, must act within the person’s interests and desires, and is limited to the powers bestowed by the Power of Attorney document. Additionally, a specific or Limited Power of Attorney can task an agent to perform some specific task on behalf of the principal.
A “Medical” Power of Attorney is different than a Financial Power of Attorney in that the agent is given the authority to make medical decisions on behalf of the principal. Often, medical powers of attorney are made as “durable powers of attorney” in that the agent is authorized to make medical decisions for their principal when they become incapacitated in some form, or are otherwise unable to make their own medical decisions. This prevents the often cumbersome task of appointing a conservator or guardian in the case of incapacitation.
Do I need a Power of Attorney?
Every person should consider having a power of attorney, both medical and financial, in their estate planning package. In the event of incapacitation, having your wishes spelled out specifically and knowing the person to whom the decision making power is granted understands those wishes, can be invaluable to both your quality of life and the wellbeing of your family, heirs, and other concerns. The agent that you designate does not need to wait on the court to authorize them to make decisions on your behalf, they do not need anything apart from the Power of Attorney form to withdraw funds from your bank account, and they can both initiate and settle any litigation or claims on your behalf. It goes without saying, obviously, that the person to whom you grant your power of attorney must be reliable and willing to follow your wishes to the letter.
If you wish to make a Power of Attorney, whether durable, limited, medical, or financial, contact The Law Office of Nathaniel Gilbert. This essential estate planning document is available for a flat rate, one-time fee, and can be ready to go in less than a few days to help give you and your family peace of mind.