A Power of Attorney is a directive where one person (the principal) gives to the other (the agent) the power to make any number of decisions (for example: financial, real estate, business) on his/her behalf. For example, a mother may name her daughter to act for her. The person granting the power of attorney must be mentally able to make the designation of an agent. If the designation is made “durable,” the power of attorney remains in effect if the principal becomes incapacitated.
We will typically prepare two powers of attorney for clients:
Durable Medical Power of Attorney
A Durable Medical Power of Attorney gives another person the authority to make medical decisions for you if you are unable to make them for yourself. This document does not necessarily state what type of treatment you want to receive. You can leave those decisions to your proxy (sometimes called an attorney-in-fact, agent or representative) if you feel comfortable doing so. You should also make it clear in the DMPOA whether you want the power of attorney to become effective immediately, or only upon certification by a treating physician.
Statutory Durable Power of Attorney
A Statutory Durable Power of Attorney gives another person the authority to make financial decisions for you if you are unable to make them for yourself. This document can give limited or full authority to your proxy, who may be provided with authority for everything from managing financial accounts to selling property. The SDPOA can also become effective immediately upon execution, or only upon certification by a treating physician.