What is power of attorney?

A power of attorney is a legal document that gives another person the authority to act on your behalf. From limited powers with a specific reason to something broader such as establishing all decisions on your behalf. 

This can be very useful in a variety of situations. For instance, imagine traveling overseas and needing someone to take care of your affairs. For those scenarios, a limited-in-scope POA can be of great help. On the other hand, a general POA can allow someone to make all medical and financial decisions, among others, in case you become incapacitated. 

5 Essential Facts You Should Know About Powers of Attorney

Timing Is Everything

We’ll encounter two significantly crucial terms when discussing a power of attorney. Springing and non-springing. They differ from each other thanks to the immediacy of their effect.

While the non-spring POA grants the person, you choose immediate power of attorney upon signing the document. The springing POA occurs sometime in the future, after the document’s signing, once certain conditions are met.

Durable Power of Attorney

Only a durable power of attorney can be valid once the person becomes incapacitated.

Otherwise, the POA becomes invalid if the document does not stipulate it. It is a requirement to be established on the document that the poa won’t be affected by the subsequent disability of the principal. 

Multiple Powers of Attorney

Most people need to realize that you can name more than one attorney. In fact, on a durable power attorney can be more than 2 people. Since it is a very overwhelming responsibility, it makes sense that you might need the help of someone else to help you in the process.  

For instance, if a parent wants to name more than one child as the agent on its POA, the responsibility will be shared equally as long as it is stipulated in the poa documents.

Expiration Date

A power of attorney is no longer valid after death. It will only be valid during the lifetime of the principal.


Appointing someone to act on your behalf does not mean that you can no longer do it yourself. It should be recognized if you still have the capacity to make your own decisions. By signing the document, you authorize another person to act under the limitations you have placed.

Types of Power of Attorney

General Power of Attorney

This type of power reaches its limit once the principal becomes mentally incapable of making coherent decisions.

Springing Power of Attorney

A limited power of attorney only takes effect when a specific event occurs. It’s a limited-in-scope type o POA.

Durable Power of Attorney

Its effectiveness begins at the moment of signature and remains active even after the principal’s incapacity.

Health Care Power of Attorney

Health Care Power of Attorney

It is a combination of two types of POA. It is a springing and a durable power at the same time. It only takes effect when certain conditions are met, giving the attorney the power to make health care decisions on your behalf.

Definition of Incapacitated

In general, someone can be determined to be incapacitated when they are no longer capable of managing their affairs. In addition, if the person is unable to maintain their physical well-being, they may be considered incapable. Some medical conditions can lead to this declaration.

Professional Assistance 

Now that you know what a power of attorney is, some essential facts about it, and the types of POA that exists, you understand how important it is to get the proper assistance from an experienced and reliable specialist.

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