A power of attorney (POA) is a written authorization to represent or act on another's behalf in private affairs, business, or some other legal matter. The person authorizing the other to act is the principal, grantor, or donor (of the power). The one authorized to act is the agent. A power of attorney is another essential document in the basic estate plan.
A well-rounded estate plan should actually consist of two different power of attorney documents. The first one should be a health care power of attorney. This document gives someone, be it a spouse, relative, or a friend, the ability to make health care related decisions for you, if you should become unable to make those decisions for yourself. This document allows you to choose someone who will fulfill your wishes as to health care directives.
The second document is a financial power of attorney. This document has a similar function, except it allows for your agent to complete financial or legal matters if you are unable to do so. This document is helpful in making sure your estate plan occurs without issue, as sometimes property needs to be transferred before death even when the grantor is unable to do so.
In each power of attorney document, you are able to decide who should act for you when you are unable to. Without this document, you will not have this choice should you become incapacitated. Once you have signed this document, the individual that you have chosen will have the power to act in your best interests.
It is highly recommended that these documents be prepared as part of any estate plan. If you are in need of a power of attorney or any other estate planning document, please feel free to use the contact form on this page, call at: 330-623-7529, or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.