A power of attorney is a legal document that allows you to give someone else the authority to act for you.
A power of attorney ends when you die. If you want to deal with how your property will be dealt with after your death you would have to create a Will.
An individual who gives someone the authority to act for them under a power of attorney (POA) is known as the grantor. The individual who is authorized to act is known as the attorney. An attorney under a POA does not need to be a lawyer. The term simply refers to someone you appoint to act on your behalf under the POA.
To grant a power of attorney you must be at least 18 years of age and have the capacity to be able to understand the nature and effect of the document. Even when a power of attorney is in place, you can also continue to act for yourself as long as you are legally capable.
There are different types of powers of attorney. You can tailor the document to meet your need concerning when your attorney can act and what your attorney can do.
When you appoint someone as your attorney you are giving them the power to do certain things for you. It is important to balance the benefits of having a attorney against the risks.
The law provides that certain people cannot be appointed as your attorney. These legal restrictions on who can be your attorney are designed to protect you. Beyond the legal restrictions you will want to make sure the person you appoint is reliable and trustworthy.
Depending on the type of power of attorney being created there can be signing and witnessing requirements.
Someone you appoint as your attorney has a duty to act in your best interests. Attorneys are also required to account for any money they have handled for you.
You can decide to end a power of attorney anytime for any reason as long as you are still capable. If you do not have the capacity to end it any interested person can ask the court to end it if they think there has been abuse of the power. There are also some situations where a power of attorney must end by law.