Power of Attorney
Power of attorney is granted to an “attorney-in-fact” or “agent” to give that individual the legal authority to make decisions for an incapacitated “principal.” Incapacity can be permanent such as those due to Alzheimer’s or a permanent coma from an injury, but also temporary such as hospitalization due to emergency surgery or injury, especially if they occur while traveling abroad. There are two basic types of power of attorney.
A financial or durable power of attorney can give the power to:
- Pay your bills and avoid fees or interest
- Collect mail
- Make financial decisions
- Access accounts or safe deposit boxes
- Make gifts of money
- Recommend a guardian
- and more.
A health care power of attorney (part of the Advance Directive) gives power to:
- Make health care decisions
- Consent to giving, withholding, or stopping medical treatments, services, or diagnostic procedures.
See (link) for more details on health care decisions.