What are the different types of power of attorney?

On Behalf of | Dec 16, 2023 | Estate Planning

Though you may be a responsible and healthy person, a serious accident at work, at home or on the road can happen to anyone at any time. For example, the California Statewide Collision Overview finds that adults from 25 to 34 comprise the largest group to experience serious injury collisions.

If such an incident incapacitates you, how can you be sure that your family will carry out your medical and financial wishes? A power of attorney can be a helpful tool by expressing your intentions and authorizing a responsible person to fulfill them. Learn what the different types of power of attorney accomplish.

General power of attorney

A general power of attorney gives broad decision-making power to a chosen agent. This document can address everyday matters, but it does have limits.

For example, the agent’s authority ceases when you die, and agents cannot transfer their responsibility to someone else. You might use a general power of attorney for simple and quick decision-making, such as managing everyday finances or performing routine business transactions.

Limited power of attorney

A limited power of attorney lets you specify the powers you give to your agent. You might choose this document to have someone handle a particular task or manage your affairs for a set period. Consider a limited power of attorney for real estate transactions when you cannot be present.

Durable power of attorney

A durable power of attorney stays effective even when you become unable to make decisions, for instance, if you suffer rapid cognitive decline due to illness. Choosing a durable power of attorney means someone can protect your interests even when you cannot.

Medical power of attorney

Your medical power of attorney lets a trusted person serve as your agent to make health care decisions for you when you are unable to. In California, the medical power of attorney is an element of an advance health care directive. This agent can make quick and informed decisions during medical emergencies, including end-of-life decisions.

Utilizing the different types of power of attorney gives you more control over what happens to your affairs when you are incapable or unavailable for some reason. Choosing the right type for your situation can give you peace of mind, knowing that you have trusted people to fulfill your wishes.