Powers of Attorney (P.O.A’s) are of basically two species; P.O.A for Health Care and P.O.A for Property. These powers, given by the grantor to an individual (generally recognized as a fiduciary, and someone highly trusted by the grantor, i.e., close relative, or friend), and are used in anticipation of future or impending permanent or temporary loss of decision making capacity. The P.O.A or Attorney-in-Factum “steps into the shoes” and acts for the grantor where they are unable. These powers, may be limited to certain events, occurrences, and time, or may be limitless in nature. As there titles indicate, a Health Care P.O.A functions to allow medical decisions including, but not limited to “extraordinary care” such as feeding tubes, respirators and all means necessary to sustain (or NOT) life under the circumstances. Caution: these are only as good as they are known by health care administrators, and may need to be published and kept on the person. P.O.A’s for property give the grantor the ability to have their elected Attorney-in-Fact direct payments, transfer funds, sell assets, and even bring a law suit in the grantor’s name, when they themselves are incapacitated. These “powers” are most often used for less dramatic functions such as check writing, banking, and as a general signatory. These can be invaluable tools in estate and future planning. These do not function as, or are meant to give carte blanche authority in any other legal areas or capacities such as funeral arrangements or probate administration.

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