What is a “Power of Attorney”?

A Power of Attorney is a legal document that allows another person the right to make decisions for you without court involvement (such as a guardian or conservator).  There are generally two types.  One type is a “springing” Power of Attorney, which takes effect when a person becomes incapacitated.   The other type takes effect immediately.

When you make someone your Power of Attorney, you decide what type of decisions that the person can make for you.  A Power of Attorney can be limited to only medical decisions or it can involve financial decisions, the right to bring lawsuits, or the right to buy/ sell property.  A power of attorney can be a helpful tool to make your wishes known in the event of an emergency. 

You can have a Power of Attorney drafted by an attorney or you can purchase a “form” Power of Attorney from the Internet or an office supply store.  In either instance, you should craft the document to fit your personal needs and wishes.