You can select any competent adult to act as your agent. The authority that grants a power of attorney to your agent may be as limited as selling your car for you or as broad as making financial and health care decisions on your behalf. The POA gives the de facto attorney (also known as the agent) the power to make decisions about their affairs. The type of POA you believe dictates on what issues you are granting power.
It is often convenient, or even necessary, for someone else to act on your behalf. You can give someone the legal authority to act on your behalf with a document called a power of attorney. If you grant a power of attorney, you are called the principal and the person to whom you give it is called the agent or proxy in fact. A power of attorney may be used to give another person the right to sell a car, house or other property instead of the Principal.
A power of attorney may be used to allow another person to sign a contract for the principal. It can be used to give another person the authority to make health care decisions, conduct financial transactions, or sign legal documents that the principal cannot do for one reason or another. With few exceptions, a power of attorney may give others the right to perform any legal act that the principal may do for himself or herself. A person who grants a permanent power of attorney may make it very broad or may limit the durable power of attorney to certain acts.
There are some things that a lawyer is actually prohibited from doing even if the power of attorney says otherwise. Or you can specify a much wider range of powers of attorney, such as access to your bank accounts (known as general power of attorney). If a conservator is appointed after the power of attorney has been granted, the court will likely allow those powers to continue unless good cause is demonstrated that he should not continue as a de facto lawyer or the court finds that the principal was not competent to sign the power of attorney. Anyone planning an unexpected disability or long-term care could consider a power of attorney to use in case of need, no matter how remote such events seem to be.
For example, the POA could simply empower someone to represent you at a real estate closure in another city. If you plan to make health care decisions for the director of your power of attorney, you should consult your lawyer. The power of attorney may take effect immediately, or only when a future event occurs, usually a determination that you cannot act on your own due to a mental or physical disability. You must specify in the power of attorney document which powers you are granting to your agent and when those powers will come into effect.
It is prudent to include in the power of attorney a clear statement of whether you want your agent to have these powers. For example, if a bank account is titled only in the person's name, the trustee has no power over that asset. If you learn that a guardianship proceeding has been initiated against your principal, you should consult with your lawyer. A power of attorney empowers a de facto attorney to do certain things specific to the principal during the life of the principal.
If you wish to give an agent the power to sell land, or to transfer or encumber title to land in some other way, the power of attorney must be signed before a notary, who must note that he signed it voluntarily for the purposes mentioned therein.