POWER OF ATTORNEY
There are different types of powers of attorney for different purposes.
Although Understanding these different types of POA can seem overwhelming at first, it’s often very simple: Your specific situation will usually dictate which type of power of attorney you need.
GENERAL POWER OF ATTORNEY
A general power of attorney is typically used to dedicate an assigned agent to handle your affairs during a limited period when you’re unable to do so yourself. You may need you’re physically or mentally unable to handle your affairs.
With a general power of attorney, you can dictate what power's to convey, such as the ability to buy, sell and rent property, handle banking transactions, enter safety deposit boxes, file tax returns, tend to government benefits, enter into contracts, purchase life insurance, settle claims and exercise stock rights. You can also grant your agent the ability to maintain your business interests, make transfers to revocable living trusts, hire professional assistance and make gifts.
LIMITED POWER OF ATTORNEY
A limited power of attorney authorizes your agent to act on your behalf only in specific situations. A limited power of attorney describes the action that an agent will perform and might also come with an expiration date. This power of attorney might only kick in if a specific event takes place.
For instance, you might give an agent the power to sign the documents needed to sell your home if you become mentally incapacitated. You might also give an agent the power to sell stocks on your behalf if those stocks reach a certain value while you’re out of the country and therefore unable to handle the sale yourself.
HEALTHCARE POWER OF ATTORNEY
A healthcare power of attorney, also known as a medical power of attorney, allows your agent to make healthcare decisions on your behalf if you’re unable to do so. If you’re in surgery and unconscious, you might assign someone power of attorney to make medical decisions on your behalf while you’re undergoing this surgery.
A medical POA doesn’t forfeit your right to give medical direction to your doctors when you’re able to do it yourself. It only becomes effective when you don’t have that capacity.
FINANCIAL POWER OF ATTORNEY
Durable financial power of attorney gives an agent power to make financial decisions on your behalf. This power usually kicks in if you become incapacitated and can’t make these financial decisions on your own.