What Is A Power Of Attorney?

Power of attorney (POA) is a legal document that allows one person (known as the principal, grantor or donor) to give another person (the agent) the power to act on the principal’s behalf. The agent is typically granted the power to make decisions about finances and health care and is expected to put the welfare of the principal ahead of their own interests. They remain in effect until either the principal dies or if the principal revokes the POA.

Different Types Of Power Of Attorney

There are several types of Power of Attorney to choose from depending on your unique needs. We will work with you to establish a plan that makes the most sense for you and your family.

  • Limited power of attorney – A limited power attorney is defined by designating an agent with a small set of responsibilities. This can be narrowly structured to the point of giving someone the power to make one specific decision on one specific day.
  • General power of attorney – A general power of attorney grants a designated agent comprehensive authority to make decisions for another person. A general power of attorney is often granted for a principal suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Durable power of attorney – A durable power of attorney means that the document stays in effect even if you become incapacitated. An ordinary power of attorney form without language to make it “durable” automatically ends if the person who made it becomes mentally incapacitated.
  • Springing power of attorney – A springing power of attorney is a document that becomes active when a specific condition is met. Springing power of attorney document that only goes into effect when a person becomes mentally incapacitated is very common.

Why You Need A Power Of Attorney

People typically create a POA document to safeguard their financial assets and to designate someone to make health care choices for them if they become incapacitated. Seniors often give POA responsibilities for health care decisions to their adult children. Military members use POAs to make sure there are caregivers for their children when they are deployed overseas. If you are thinking of creating a POA, make sure you consult with a knowledgeable estate planning firm like Haberstroh, Sullivan & George, LLP.

Contact Our Team To Discuss Your Estate Plan

For help in determining what kind of POA is right for you, fill out our online contact form or call our Altoona office at 814-201-6263 or our Martinsburg office at 814-201-6838.