Last Updated on March 17, 2024 by Ali Hamza

Powers of attorney can provide comfort to both the elderly and their caregivers. Elders can use powers of attorney to choose a trustworthy individual to make healthcare and financial decisions on their behalf. When someone you love loses the ability to make sound financial decisions, having such authorities in place may be quite beneficial, especially if the person in need rejects – or is uninformed of – a deteriorating physical or mental condition. If you need legal assistance, contact an attorney today. 

What is a Power of Attorney? 

A power of attorney is an instrument of law that allows you to appoint someone to manage your affairs in the event that you become disabled. The person you designate is the agent or attorney, and the person who appoints is the principal.

You have the option of granting your agent certain powers. This is why you should have an experienced attorney prepare your paperwork to carry out your specific scenario’s objectives. There are several types of Powers of Attorney, and your specific circumstances will decide which ones you grant. It is critical to select a trustworthy individual as your agent. Consider carefully who you want in charge of your finances and medical care.

Different Kinds of Powers of Attorney

Specific rights vary by state, but the following are the most common types of power of attorney:

  • Limited Power of Attorney 

Gives your agent the authority to make choices for a certain purpose or period.

  • Springing Power of Attorney 

A springing Power of Attorney takes effect only if you become disabled. An attorney will construct the agreement to clearly state the criterion for finding incapacity. Due to the hassle of requiring proof of incapacity, a Springing Power of Attorney is rarely utilized.

  • Medical Proxy 

A document authorizing someone to make healthcare choices on your behalf.

Your agent’s rights and obligations

You may be concerned that your agent may exploit you or mismanage your assets and estate. While giving an authority of attorney provides your agent immense authority, they also have a fiduciary duty to act in your best interests. Choosing a trustworthy individual to be your agent, however, is critical. Only people with trust and honesty should be considered because they will be permitted to conduct things like:

  • Write and cash your checks
  • Apply for public assistance like Medicaid or Social Security
  • Manage your business
  • Make medical decisions on your behalf if you designate a medical proxy
  • Buy or sell things for you

There might be significant consequences if your agent is dishonest and does not operate in your best interests. As a result, consider carefully who you appoint as your agent.