Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Power of Attorney - What Are the Options?

Business or personal matters often require giving power of attorney (abbreviated as POA) privileges to chosen individuals. POA authorizes the chosen individual to decide matters relating to finance or healthcare for another person who are not capable of deciding anything on his/her own.

Before giving such privileges to any person, you need to know how it works, as well as the rights given to that person. The person nominated for the purpose must be competent in making decisions, some of which may go against the wishes of other members of the family.

Law makes it obligatory to give POA only to persons who are at least eighteen years old. It is extremely important to select a person capable of taking difficult decisions relating to finance and health.

People can choose between different kinds of rights and responsibilities that they can transfer through a Power of Attorney form, depending on their needs. Every POA involves two persons, the 'Principal' and the 'Attorney-in-Fact.' The former is the individual who defines the contract, and the latter is an individual who executes the duties specified therein.

The most usual kind of contract is the Durable Power of Attorney. It's a legal document, authorizing the attorney-in-fact to take decisions concerning the finances and health, as stipulated by the Principal. This kind of POA remains in force till the Principal dies or revokes this act.

The other frequently made document is called the Non-Durable Power of Attorney. The attorney-in-fact to is authorized to take decisions for certain transactions, which are specified in the act. This kind of POA is usually made when the Principal needs to undergo surgery or another medical treatment that could make them unable for taking decisions. This POA is valid for a particular transaction, and automatically expires after the operation took place.

A Healthcare Power of Attorney is required while authorizing an individual for taking medical decisions for the Principal. It essentially involves discussing the types of treatments to which the principal may be subjected to.

The Limited Power of Attorney is generally given to another person for selling or transferring some Real Estate or property in the possession of the Principal. The privilege expires after the completion of the transaction.

Most do not feel comfortable discussing such topics. However, the kind of treatment to be followed should be discussed in advance, in case anything unexpected happens. For instance, if someone doesn't want to be kept on a life support system, when the brain is declared dead, he/she should specifically mention it in his/her healthcare POA. Else, the medical personnel is obliged to obey the state laws and continue with the regular medical treatment.

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