Power of Attorney

A power of attorney (POA) is a legal document that gives an individual the authority and authorization to act on another’s behalf. The laws for creating a power of attorney can be different from state to state. The person who has authorization to act for another is called the attorney-in-fact or agent. The person who is authorizing the other to act for them is the principal, grantor, or donor. The principal determines the amount of power given. These decisions can range from finances, personal, business, and healthcare among others.

A durable power of attorney (DPA) is specific in that the power of attorney will continue to be in effect even if the principal or grantor becomes incapacitated because of health, physical injury, or mental illness. With a durable power of attorney, the authority of the attorney-in-fact or agent will make decisions on behalf of the grantor or principal, until they pass away. What makes it “durable” is the fact that it will survive when a person is incapacitated.

Obtaining a doctors statement and having several witnesses at the time the power of attorney is signed is crucial. A power of attorney can also be special, limited, general, or temporarily limited. A temporarily limited power of attorney has a limited time frame.