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Power of Attorney: Explained

There are four major types of power of attorney. Each of these provide different levels of control to your chosen agent. The four most common types are the General Power of Attorney, Durable Power of Attorney, Special or Limited Power of Attorney, and Medical Power of Attorney. You can choose the one that you believe will be best suited for your needs.

General Power of Attorney

General power of attorney gives very broad powers to your agent. This allows them to handle any financial and business transactions, open financial accounts for you, settling claims, buying life insurance, and more. This power of attorney is very common in estate plans. So, if you become physically or mentally incapable of managing your financial or business affairs, someone is already designated to take care of those aspects for you.

Durable Power of Attorney

Durable power of attorney is said to be the most common type of power of attorney. This grants the agent full control over your decisions should you at any point become unable to make them. This usually happens after an individual becomes mentally incapacitated or disabled. In this form, you can specify that this power of attorney does not go into effect until a doctor has labeled you mentally incompetent or you can require that two different licensed physicians must agree on your mental state.

Special or Limited Power of Attorney

A Special–or Limited–power of attorney grants limited powers to an agent. The selected agent is given the authority to act on behalf of you under very specific, clearly defined circumstances, such as:

  • Real estate transactions
  • Medical care
  • Financial matters
  • Business affairs
  • Other specific situations, such as if you are traveling overseas and need someone to manage your affairs while you are gone

These guidelines are different in every Special- or Limited- power of attorney document. When creating this document, you must be specific about what powers your agent has and when they are able to use them.

Medical Power of Attorney

This document “springs” into action if you were to become incapacitated. An example of this could be some who is in the military signing a form so that if they get deployed overseas or becomes disabled, it would grant the agent access to handle the financial matters.

is having a power of attorney important?

By having a power of attorney, if you were to get sick, get into an accident, or any other cause that would make you physically and mentally unable to make important decisions, someone you trust can do it for you. If something were to happen to you and you did not have an agent, someone must be appointed as your guardian of your property in court and this can be a stressful process.

Getting Started

McCormick Law Offices are more than happy to sit down with you and figure out what you need to do in order to successfully fill out a power of attorney. At McCormick Law Offices, we pride ourselves in being a great assistance to you and guiding you through the process every step of the way. Contact us today to get started!