A Power of Attorney (POA) is a legal document that grants someone the authority to act on behalf of another person. This document can be used for a variety of purposes, such as granting someone the power to make health care decisions, manage financial affairs, or even make donations on your behalf. It is important to understand the different types of POAs, when they are necessary, and how they can be revoked. There are two main types of POAs: Health Care Power of Attorney and Financial Power of Attorney.
Health Care POA grants someone the authority to make medical decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated. Financial POA grants someone the authority to manage your financial affairs if you become incapacitated. In some cases, it may be necessary for a court to appoint a guardian or conservator if you do not have a POA in place. It is important to note that you must have the mental capacity to understand what you are doing in order to grant a POA.
Once you have lost that capacity, it is too late for you to grant a POA. At that time, the court will have to appoint a guardian or conservator for you, if necessary. When creating a POA, it is important to specify which powers you are granting to your agent and when those powers will come into effect. You can also grant POA to two or more people at the same time, or you can appoint a second agent to take over in specific circumstances (such as the death of the first agent).
Standardized forms are available for various types of POAs, and many organizations provide them to their customers, patients, employees, or members. It is also important to note that certain powers of your agent are in fact governed by state law. You can revoke your POA whenever you want, as long as you are mentally competent and comply with your state's revocation laws. It is important that the lawyer preparing your POA draws up the document in a way that does not expose your lawyer in fact to unforeseen consequences of estate tax. An initial POA must be crafted with great care to avoid any problems by accurately identifying when the triggering event has occurred.
A basic POA is a fairly simple document that does not require legal assistance.