5 Types of Powers of Attorney

Woman signing an estate planning document in Queens

A power of attorney or POA is an estate planning document that lets you, the principal, appoint an attorney, the agent, to make legal and financial decisions on your behalf in the event that you’re unable to do so.

There are five different types of powers of attorney. Let’s take a look at each of them individually.

1. General Power of Attorney

A general power of attorney gives the agent massive power to act in your stead. It allows the agent to make legal, financial, real estate, or any business decisions for you. A general power of attorney is revoked if you become incapacitated or die.

2. Medical Power of Attorney

A medical or healthcare power of attorney appoints an agent to make healthcare-related decisions for you if you’re unable to do so. This power of attorney becomes effective as soon as you sign it, but can only be used if your physician deems you as mentally unfit.

3. Springing Power of Attorney

A springing power of attorney becomes effective in the event that the principal becomes mentally incompetent or incapacitated. This power ends once the principal dies or becomes capable again.

4. Durable Power of Attorney

A durable power of attorney allows an attorney to make decisions for you in the event that you become incapacitated. This type of power becomes effective immediately once you sign the document.

It is easy to misuse a durable power of attorney as the agent’s actions go unmonitored if the principal becomes incapacitated. Moreover, there is no oversight by a third party so the agent can easily get away with the abuse.

5. Limited Power of Attorney

A limited power of attorney allows an agent to act on your behalf for very specific reasons and may only hold for a limited time. This power can allow an agent to do cash checks or manage your retirement account, but only in a limited capacity.

 

POA is sometimes referred to as “license to steal” as it is quite often abused by the attorney for their personal benefit. You must be very careful while appointing an attorney so you don’t incur financial or legal damages.

Family Lawyers Serving Throughout New York City

A family lawyer would be the best choice to help you establish a power of attorney. At the law office of Ledwidge & Associates, P.C., we provide experienced and reliable family lawyers to guide you through the process. If you are seeking to establish a power of attorney in Jamaica, Brooklyn, or anywhere else in NYC, our experienced Family Lawyer Queens and Family Lawyer Brooklyn are here for you.

Contact us now for more information.

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