When you’re thinking about estate planning, there are many options available to achieve your goals. Some options will be more or less useful, depending upon your needs. A power of attorney is a very flexible option, with a number of different varieties to suit the moment.
Durable power of attorney
All powers of attorney share some common traits – they’re a legal document where you grant someone else the authority to act on your behalf. When a power of attorney is referred to as durable, it’s because the authority lasts until you either revoke it or you die. Unlike a durable power of attorney, non-durable powers of attorney expire on specific dates or when certain conditions are met.
General power of attorney
This is the broadest form of power of attorney. With a general power of attorney, you are granting your agent the authority to act in many areas. For the most part, the agent can act on your behalf in any way you could legally act if you did it yourself. This type of broad authority may be useful for someone who suffers from a total disability and needs assistance accomplishing both mundane tasks (paying bills) and special tasks (filing taxes).
Limited power of attorney
As the name implies, a limited power of attorney grants the agent authority, but only in specific situations. This type is useful for anyone who needs help with very specific things – for instance, you may authorize your agent to act on your behalf with respect to a piece of real estate and you live too far away to manage it yourself conveniently.
Choosing the correct power of attorney will depend upon your needs, which can change as you move through your life. For help making a decision on this particular aspect of estate planning, seek the assistance of an experienced professional.