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Defining Types of Powers of Attorney

Most hope that when the end of our life is near, we will still have the capacity to make decisions regarding our future care and assets. Whether someone is young, older, or middle-aged, though, mental and physical capacity can be taken away without notice due to an accident or other unplanned factors. That’s why, as part of an estate plan, it’s critical to pre-plan powers of attorney.

When determining a power of attorney, many assume that one person can decide multiple matters. However, different powers of attorney can be named to best suit an individual’s wishes.

Types of Powers of Attorney

While powers of attorney can be assigned responsibilities over specific assets, there are generally four types of powers of attorney.

Limited Power of Attorney

This person is responsible for either specific acts or for a limited amount of time. For example, this type of power of attorney could be tasked with signing documents on your behalf while you are on vacation and can not delay a signing.

General Power of Attorney

This is a comprehensive responsibility where the named person or persons have the same authority as you. This means that the general power of attorney can pay bills, sign documents, make financial decisions, and more, all on your behalf. A general power of attorney’s responsibilities is concluded at the time of your passing or incapacitation. They can also be rescinded before then as long as you are not incapacitated.

Durable Power of Attorney

A durable power of attorney can have limited or general responsibilities and remains in effect should you become incapacitated (unlike a general power of attorney). If you were to become incapacitated without a durable power of attorney, a court might appoint someone to make decisions on your behalf. Individuals should name someone to have this responsibility well ahead of time. That way, difficult decisions can be known ahead of time.

Springing Power of Attorney

Like the name suggests, the responsibilities of this type of power of attorney “spring” or become effective should you become incapacitated. The clear standard of incapacity should be outlined prior to the springing power of attorney taking any action.

Making Decisions About Powers of Attorney

Deciding who should be named a power of attorney and the type of responsibilities that person should have can be overwhelming. When working with the experienced estate planning attorneys at Chipman Mazzucco Emerson LLC, we can walk with you through the steps to make these types of decisions and the individualized care you want. Our high-quality solutions and caring team are here for you. Contact us today to learn more.