There are times in everyone’s life when they can use some help making decisions. Sometimes, it’s a simple matter of talking things through with a friend. But, there are other times when a person may not be able to make decisions for themselves due to illness, incapacity, or being deployed. That’s when having a designated power of attorney is beneficial.
The term “power of attorney” refers to a person who is designated by you to make decisions when you cannot due to the reasons listed above. This person is someone who you trust, because you know that they have your best interest at heart. If, for example, you are unconscious in the hospital and the doctor says that you need surgery, your POA can make that decision on your behalf.
Are there different types of power of attorney?
There are four types of power of attorney. They are as follows:
- A durable POA is in effect for your lifetime, unless you revoke it at some point. The person appointed as POA can make decisions for you when you cannot.
- A limited POA is in effect from the moment you sign it until you become mentally incapacitated, or the appointed term ends. For example, this person may be in charge of your finances while you are deployed overseas. Once you return to the United States, the POA’s appointment ends.
- A springing POA is appointed in case of your incapacitation and is only in effect once that moment happens.
- A medical POA is appointed specifically to make your medical decisions when you cannot. This may or may not include end-of-life directives.
Should you find yourself considering appointing a power of attorney, contact an experienced legal guide to assist you with the process.