estate planning

The 4 Most Common Types of Power of Attorney

Power of attorney is when a person grants another the power to sign legal documents on their behalf. Many people assume they may never need to use a legal power of attorney, but life is unpredictable and things can change in the blink of an eye.

There are many ways to grant power of attorney over your affairs to another person. Below, we explore the four most common types.

General

A general power of attorney is meant to allow a person (agent) to handle any legal affairs for a limited time. Most people use this if they are physically or mentally unable to handle their own affairs.

An agent will usually have the ability to:

  • buy, sell, or rent property;
  • handle banking transactions;
  • use safety deposit boxes;
  • file tax returns;
  • enter into contracts;
  • settle claims; and/or
  • purchase life insurance.

A general power of attorney ends when the granter is once again able to handle their affairs on their own.

Limited or Special

A limited or special power of attorney grants the agent power over either a select group of areas or one particular area. For example, someone could allow their agent to sign a deed to a property they have been trying to sell while they are out of town. Much like the general power of attorney, this power ends after a specified amount of time.

Healthcare

Everyone has the right to decide how they’d like to be medically treated if they ever fall gravely ill. The healthcare power of attorney allows a person to grant a trusted agent the ability to make medical decisions if ever incapacitated. Most medical powers of attorney are ironclad because it assumes the person granting the agent this power will otherwise be unable to communicate their wishes or decisions due to the illness.

Enduring

Also referred to as a durable power of attorney, this power remains in effect even after a person becomes incapacitated. For example, if a person falls into a coma and they would like their spouse to make important decisions on their behalf, a durable power of attorney will allow them to do so. The enduring power of attorney allows the spouse to make decisions for the granter while they are mentally unable to do so themselves.

The Springer Law Firm Can Help

Our attorneys are knowledgeable about every type of power of attorney. We can walk you and the person you choose as your agent through the entire process to make you both aware of the responsibilities associated with each type of power of attorney.

Call our firm today at (281) 990-6025 or contact us online.

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