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The Basics Of Power Of Attorney Agreements

At the most basic level, when you grant power of attorney (POA) to someone, you are allowing them to make decisions on your behalf. The person who creates the POA and grants permission is known as the principal, grantor or donor. The person who accepts the POA and agrees to make decisions on behalf of the principal is known as the agent or attorney-in-fact. POA agents typically make financial and health care decisions for the principal in situations where the principal becomes incapacitated in some way. Depending on the type of POA agreement, once it is signed it remains legally active until the principal becomes mentally incapacitated, revokes the agreement or dies.

How Power Of Attorney Agreements Are Used

There are four different types of POA agreements. Each one is designed with specific limitations and responsibilities to address different types of situations.

Limited power of attorney – Limited POA agreements grant decision-making power over a small set of responsibilities, often for a limited period of time. Some of the more common uses include handling tax-related issues, purchasing and transferring titles on vehicles, and naming someone to care for your children when you’re not around.

General power of attorney – A general POA agreement grants authority to make decisions in a wide variety of situations. If the principal becomes incompetent as a result of illness, the general POA becomes invalid.

Durable power of attorney – Durable POA agreements are often used for health care decisions. Unlike a general POA agreement, a durable POA agreement remains in effect even if the principal becomes incapacitated or is no longer competent to make decisions for themselves.

Springing power of attorney – Springing POA agreements are designed to go in effect only under specific circumstances. For this type of POA, it is important to have a well-defined event or situation that triggers activation of the POA so it is not challenged.

What A Power Of Attorney Can Do For You

A POA agreement gives you the authority to decide who will make decisions for you when you are unwilling or unable to make decisions for yourself. Most people who ask us to draft a POA agreement are either looking for a way to safeguard their financial assets or to name someone to make health care choices for them. Seniors wanting to protect their estates and name their adult children as agents to make health care decisions on their behalf are very common. If you think a POA agreement is right for you, come visit our Bridgeton office.

Contact The Family Law Attorneys At The Ritter Law Office, L.L.C.

Everyone has unique circumstances that bring them to our office. We will evaluate your situation and help you decide what type of POA is best suited for your needs. To set up an initial consultation, call us at 866-930-0233 or fill out our online contact form.