4 Facts You Should Know About the Power of Attorney

At some point in life, everyone should consider appointing a power of attorney. This is someone you trust to be in charge of important decisions, such as handling finances, monitoring health care, and numerous other administrative tasks. This is particularly important for seniors who may become unable to attend to these matters themselves over time.

Here are a few facts to keep in mind when considering power of attorney for yourself or loved ones.
1. What exactly is power of attorney?
Power of attorney is a legal document that authorises an appointed person (agent) to act on another person’s (principal) behalf. This includes decisions regarding legal, medical, business or financial matters. The person appointed is usually a close family member, but can also be a trusted friend or other agents.
2. When is power of attorney necessary?
As people grow older, they may need some assistance to get daily tasks and administrative duties done. While many seniors maintain their faculties well into old age, taking care of financial responsibilities and other technical tasks may become a burden over time. If your elderly loved one is feeling overwhelmed by these responsibilities, a power of attorney can help ease their mind.
3. Are there different types of powers of attorney?
Yes. There are four types of power of attorney. General Power of Attorney allows an agent to perform almost any act as the principal, like opening bank accounts and managing personal finances. However, this kind of power of attorney is terminated if the principal becomes incapacitated, revokes the power of attorney or dies. A Durable Power of Attorney empowers an agent to act on the principal’s behalf even after the principal becomes incapacitated or passes away. A Special or Limited Power of Attorney gives the agent specific powers limited to certain circumstances, such as the authority to sell a home. Finally, a Springing Durable Power of Attorney becomes effective when a specific event occurs, such as when the principal becomes incapacitated.
4.What are the benefits of power of attorney?
Perhaps the most important benefit of power of attorney is the peace of mind it provides both the senior in question and their loved ones. By allowing the principal to choose who they want as their agent, they can feel safe in the knowledge that their best interests are being served. The agent in turn knows that they can do what needs to be done to ensure that the principal is taken care of, and all their affairs are kept in order in a legally sound manner.

Power of attorney is a legal document that enables an appointed person to take care of certain matters on behalf of an individual. This can be very important for seniors who want to ensure that their best interests are served should they become incapacitated or unable to take care of matters themselves. Read on for four facts you should know about power of attorney.