People often create an estate plan before they die in order to plan for what will happen to their assets and belongings after their death. When people plan for their estate administration, they sometimes decide to appoint a power of attorney. A power of attorney is an individual who steps in to make decisions when the person who created the estate is unable to do so. This may happen if their mental or physical health deteriorates and they are no longer unable to communicate for themselves. In this case, their power of attorney may be responsible for decisions based on any wishes that were shared with them. They will act accordingly to follow any desires of the individual who appointed them to this role.

What is a Power of Attorney?

A power of attorney is an individual that can take part in the big decisions of your life if you are dying or incapable of making decisions for yourself. A legal document gives this individual the legal authority to act on your behalf. This means that you must choose a power of attorney that you are able to trust to act in your best interest. Many people choose a family member or a close loved one to handle the important job. It is crucial that the power of attorney keeps documentation of any wishes you have so that they know what decisions to make for you if necessary.

It is important to note that a power of attorney does not have unlimited power. You can limit their power and allow them to as much influence as you wish. With that being said, their decisions can have a great impact on your life. A power of attorney may be granted with the ability to make decisions regarding health emergencies, financial access, as well as other matters. How much control the individual has is dependent on what you give them. Because of this, each power of attorney may have different responsibilities depending on the case.

Categories for Power of Attornies

There are different categories for a power of attorney that depend on the amount of power they are given. These categories can be broken up depending on what types of decisions they are required to make and what aspects of life they are responsible for. The different categories are as follows:

  • General Power of Attorney: This allows the individual to conduct the same fiscal actions that you would do. This can require filing taxes, executing contracts, or borrowing money.
  • Limited Power of Attorney: Just how it sounds, the individual has a more limited scope of power than that of a general power attorney. They are limited in the amount of power that you choose to let them have.
  • Durable Power of Attorney: This allows the individual the authority to make decisions regarding your end of life care.
  • Springing Power of Attorney: This individual may come into power after a triggering event happens. This may include a medical or physical disability.

Contact our Firm

If you have been assigned as a power of attorney and wish to consult a legal representative, contact The Lauterbach Law Firm today.

The Lauterbach Law Firm is proud to serve clients throughout Rockland County who are faced with legal matters related to estate planning, real estate, foreclosure defense, landlord-tenant law, business law, and criminal defense. If you require the services of an experienced team of attorneys, contact The Lauterbach Law Firm today to schedule a consultation.