The Use of Power of Attorney

A power of attorney form is a commonly used legal instrument that allows someone to act on your behalf in myriad situations from medical to financial to personal affairs.  Learning the different uses in which a power of attorney can be enacted can be greatly beneficial.

A power of attorney is created by a person designated as the principal, who appoints someone, known as the attorney-in-fact, to act on their behalf in whatever situation is outlined in the power of attorney.  The granted powers can be broad or very specific — from the sweeping ability to handle all financial transactions to the very specific ability to cast a vote on someone’s behalf at a condominium meeting.

There are five main types of power of attorney: general, limited, medical, durable, and springing.  Each type serves a specific purpose and can hold separate powers.  Anyone interested in creating a power of attorney should educate themselves on the different types available.  When used correctly, a power of attorney is a very powerful legal document and can assist in many of life’s challenging situations.