Power of Attorney(POA), as the word suggests, defines power of attorney. An attorney is a legal agent or authority in charge, as mentioned in the agreement, who works on the behalf of the principal or granter. The agent or the grantee has the power to make decisions on the subjects mentioned in the POA. He can decide on medical care, financial matters, personal or property, etc.
Here are the outlines of the blog:
Why do you need a Power of Attorney?
Power of Attorney comes into the picture when:
- The principal is either ill or debilitated, excluding mental illness.
- The principal is aged and cannot take a financial or personal decision on their own.
- The principal is not readily available to sign off on financial or legal transactions. For example, a person residing in the USA has property in India which he wants to sell off, so he can appoint a power of attorney who can decide on his behalf.
But when the principal is no more or met with an accident in which he lost his power to make decisions, power of attorney stands canceled. A POA also ends when the principal divorces a spouse charged with the POA or when an agent is unable to carry out outlined duties.
What are the different types of Power of Attorney?
The following are the Different types of Power of Attorney available:
- General POA.
- Special POA.
- Durable POA.
- Medical or Healthcare POA.
General POA is a broad document that can be used by a principal to authorize an agent to take multiple responsibilities. These responsibilities can be conducting all affairs related to business, real estate, personal care, entering into a contractual relationship on behalf of the granter.
A special POA is signed to execute a particular task given to an agent by the principal. If the principal wants to sell off property and desires to appoint an agent solely for this, he can sign a special POA with the agent for this particular job.
Durable Power of Attorney
The durable type of power of attorney, as the word suggests, is only effective during the period for which a person wishes to get someone else to act on his behalf. A non-durable POA will end the moment it is revoked, or when the expiration date specified arrives. However, what will happen in the event the agent becomes debilitated? Will the POA still be applicable?
In such a case, the principal would prefer that the POA remains active even if he becomes unable to communicate. For example, if the principal is no longer mentally sound but would prefer that the spouse be the agent, it can be specified in the form of a durable power of attorney. The POA gives power to the spouse to make decisions even when the principal is comatose.
Medical or Healthcare Power of Attorney
If the principal becomes very ill or is not in the condition to make a decision, he reserves the right to decide the quality of care preferred. Medical or health care POA authorizes the agent to make decisions on behalf of the principal in case of a life-threatening illness. Most health POAs fall under the durable kind because they take into consideration the fact that the principal may be too sick to make their own decisions.
In all the instances above, the principal should speak to a counsel before choosing an agent. In addition, the principal should get the counsel to walk him or her through every step of notarizing a power of attorney to understand what should go into the document.
These are the different types of power of attorney available from which one can choose the best which suits the requirements of the principal.
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