The answer to that it is entirely dependent upon your needs, because Powers of Attorney (POA) can be general, durable or both. In other words, there are several types of Powers of Attorney, that differ in scope and duration, which might make it confusing to figure out what kind is best for you and yours.
A General Power of Attorney is the broadest in scope and authorizes another person to act on your behalf and make decisions for a wide range of business and legal matters in the event that you may not be able or available to do so for yourself. There are other types of POA that are less broad, for example the powers may be limited to only healthcare, or only for financial purposes.
In addition, Powers of Attorney can be Non-durable when only enacted for a limited period of time or for a specific transaction, and the powers cease when the task/time is completed. A non-durable POA also ceases power if the principal becomes incapacitated. In contrast, a Durable POA is not limited to a specific task/time period and it is durable and enforceable even after the principal loses the ability to make decisions or if the principal is away and unavailable. So, there are circumstances that call for either a General or Durable POA , but a combined General Durable POA authorizes the widest powers and in more situations.
Enacting a Power of Attorney may be one of the most important things you can do to protect yourself and your family. It is commonplace for the aging and elderly to establish a POA to safeguard and ensure their interests, as they may be less apt to understand or incapacitated to make decisions. A POA is not just something you do for decisions affecting yourself or your parents. Especially if you have minor children, it’s important to designate someone you trust to make decisions in your absence or “stead”.
Sometimes the situations that call for a POA are planned, such as when you schedule a surgery or travel out of the country, but in many instances, you cannot anticipate events that would leave you incapacitated or unavailable, such as a traumatic accident or injury, complicated hospitalization, or any instance in which you cannot be contacted in a timely fashion. A key reason for establishing a POA is in anticipation for unplanned events such as these.
You can name anyone you wish to serve as your Power of Attorney, provided it is someone you trust to act on your behalf and to execute your wishes, such as a spouse, an adult child or sibling, a close family friend or another third party such as your attorney. (That’s right. You can designate and grant your attorney with Powers of Attorney.) It matters who you designate, as they will be making important decisions about your and your family’s lives.
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