A Power of Attorney is different than an Advance Healthcare Directive because an Advance Healthcare Directive only allows another individual to make healthcare decisions on a principal s behalf. It talks about specific circumstances under which a principal would like someone else to be their agent for health and allows a principal to define the types of authority they would like the agent to have. A Power of Attorney is similar, but is used only for financial decisions.
A Power of Attorney is also not like a bilateral agreement, it is more of a unilateral description of what authority is permitted by the principal.
The powers that you can grant your attorney-in-fact include:
- Real Estate: To buy, sell, rent, or otherwise manage residential, commercial, and personal real estate.
- Business: To invest, trade, and manage any and all business transactions and decisions, as well as handle any claim or litigation matters.
- Finance: To control banking, tax, and government and retirement transactions, as well as living trust and estate decisions. Financial powers also allows your representative to control personal insurance policies and to continue donating to any charities in your stead.
- Family: To purchase gifts, employ professionals, and to buy, sell or trade any of your personal property.
- General Authority: This grants your personal attorney the authority to make any decisions that you would be able to if you were personally present.
You should consider having a POA if: You travel out of the country often. You are employed in a hazardous work environment. You have been diagnosed with a serious illness. You have business or property that you would want maintained if you were unavailable. You have children that would need to be provided for if you were to become incapacitated. You want a specific person to be responsible for your affairs. You have rules about how you run your business, property, or life, and you want to ensure they are upheld. You are approaching old age and would like to designate a representative for yourself.