A Power of Attorney is an authorization to act on someone else’s behalf in legal or business matters. The person authorizing the other to act is called the principal, grantor or donor, and the one authorized to act is the agent or attorney-in-fact. This can be a current power of attorney or a springing power of attorney that only takes effect if you are incapacitated. An agent can be granted broad powers or they can be limited to act on behalf of the principal in specific situations. As an agent, an attorney-in-fact is a fiduciary for the principal requiring the attorney-in-fact to be completely honest with and loyal to the principal in their dealings with each other.
Power of Attorney for Medical Care
A power of attorney for medical care allows an individual to grant another person the authority to make medical decisions on his or her behalf while they are mentally incompetent or otherwise incapacitated. A power of attorney for medical care is also called an advance directive, a medical directive or a durable power of attorney for healthcare.
Durable Powers of Attorney
A power of attorney becomes ineffective if the grantor dies or becomes incapacitated unless the principle specifies that the power of attorney will continue to be effective even if the principle becomes incapacitated (but any such power ends when the principle dies). This type of power of attorney is called a durable power of attorney. A durable power of attorney allows one to prepare for the possibility that he or she may become unable to manage his or her financial, medical or other affairs.
Power of Attorney for Financial/Property Transactions
One may also use a power of attorney to grant another individual the authority to manage his or her finances, buy or sell property, file tax returns, or handle any other legal transactions on his or her behalf.
To set up a free consultation regarding any or your estate planning needs Contact Us at the Law Offices of Stephen J. Hoffmann.