What is a Power of Attorney?

People typically create an estate plan when they are preparing for what will happen to their assets after their death. When this is done, some people find it useful to appoint a power of attorney. Sometimes, individuals may reach a point in their life where they are no longer able to make decisions for themselves. When this happens, the power of attorney is able to make decisions about a person’s estate for them when they are unable to do it themselves. This can happen if an individual’s mental or physical health deteriorates and they cannot communicate their wishes. In the event of this, their power of attorney can make decisions that are in the best interest of the individual.

What is a Power of Attorney?

A power of attorney is an individual that can make big decisions in another person’s life. If someone is dying or incapable of communicating decisions themselves, a legal document can give another person the legal authority to make decisions for them. This means a power of attorney should be a person who can be trusted to act in another’s best interest. Many choose a family member or a loved one. The power of attorney should keep track of the individual’s wishes so they know the right decisions to make if necessary.

It is important to know that the power of attorney does not have unlimited authority. Their power can be limited. They only have as much influence as they are given. A power of attorney may be given the responsibility to make decisions about health emergencies, financial access, or other matters. Each power of attorney may have different responsibilities.

Categories for Power of Attornies

There are different categories that cover different responsibilities that a power of attorney may have. These categories are broken up depending on what aspects of an individual’s life they are responsible for. The different categories are as follows:

  • General Power of Attorney: This allows the power of attorney to conduct the same fiscal actions that an individual would do for themselves. This may require filing taxes, executing contracts, or borrowing money.
  • Limited Power of Attorney: The power of attorney has more of a limited power than that of a general power attorney. They are restricted in the amount of authority they are given.
  • Durable Power of Attorney: This allows the power of attorney the authority to make decisions regarding an individual’s end of life care.
  • Medical Power of Attorney: This allows an individual to become a Health Care Proxy, giving them the right to make medical decisions for an individual if they cannot due to mental incapacity.
  • Tax Power of Attorney: This allows an individual to have representation through an accountant or another qualified person for filing with the Department of Revenue.

Contact our Firm

If you have been assigned as a power of attorney and wish to consult a legal representative, contact the Law Offices of Cynthia L. Hanley, P.C. today.

If you require compassionate and knowledgeable legal guidance for a matter of divorce, family or estate law, please contact the experienced attorneys at the Law Offices of Cynthia L. Hanley today. Our firm proudly serves clients in Mansfield, Massachusetts and throughout Bristol County.