A power of attorney (POA) is a legal document usually included in most estate planning. It allows an appointed person (referred to as ‘the agent’) to make decisions on your behalf regarding legal, financial and property matters if you ever become incapacitated. The person appointed as POA has many decision-making powers; however, they are unable to make decisions about lifestyle, health and accommodations. The POA gives the appointee the ability to make financial decisions on your behalf. It is important to note that the person assigned to be POA does not need to be an attorney. The person can be a trusted friend or family member. Power of Attorney is frequently used in the event of an illness or disability or when you can’t be present to sign legal forms. Without a POA, no one can represent you or your interests unless they are appointed by a court.
There are four types of Power of Attorney: Limited, General, Durable and Springing.