Two hands pointed at a contract

What Are The Different Types of Power of Attorney?

What Are The Different Types of Power of Attorney?

We all try our best to prepare for any unexpected situations life might throw at us. Sometimes unforeseen events, such as car accidents and illness, put us in an uncertain and compromising state. In turbulent times the last thing we want to worry about is if our loved ones will be taken care of. In these situations, a power of attorney can help.

A power of attorney, also known as a POA, is an estate planning document that lets you appoint another person to make decisions on your behalf. California Probate Codes 4120 through 4130 outlines the creation and effects of each power of attorney type. POAs are essential in ensuring you leave financial, family, and healthcare decisions in trusted hands when you cannot make those decisions yourself.

There are several different types of POAs, and having a better understanding of each will help you choose the one that fits your needs. Let’s explore the most common types below.

Durable Power of Attorney

A durable power of attorney, or a DPOA, allows your agent to continue to make decisions on your behalf in the case that you become incapacitated–for example, If you fell into a coma. This type of POA is common in estate planning because you plan for a situation where you would not make decisions yourself. The DPOA will be able to make decisions on affairs such as financial or healthcare and be able to sign documents for you. This power of attorney becomes effective immediately after signing unless stated otherwise in the document.

Non-Durable Power of Attorney

With a non-durable power of attorney, your agent’s ability expires if you become incapacitated or pass away. Non-durable POAs are not as helpful in estate planning but have their place of utility. For example, you might grant your accountant a non-durable POA to manage your finances day-to-day.

Medical Power of Attorney

A medical power of attorney, also called a healthcare POA, allows your agent to make healthcare decisions for you. These include decisions about your medical care, such as;

  • Medication
  • Medical Treatment
  • Organ Donation
  • Surgery
  • End-of-life Care

A medical power of attorney can only be used if a physician declares you mentally incompetent.

General Power of Attorney

With a general power of attorney, you authorize your agent broad power to act on your behalf. Your agent will be able to make decisions on your behalf in matters such as;

  • Paying bills
  • Buying and selling property
  • Managing banking transactions
  • File taxes

General POAs can be durable or non-durable. Even though they give the agent considerable power, they have limitations. For example, a general power of attorney doesn’t allow your agent to enter you into a marriage.

Limited (Special) Power of Attorney

A limited power of attorney gives your agent the authority to act on your behalf but in specific circumstances. For example, a limited power of attorney can allow your agent to write checks on your behalf but not grant them access to your bank accounts.

This type of power of attorney will expire once the task is completed.

Springing Power of Attorney

A springing power of attorney goes into effect when a specified event occurs. For example, if military personnel gets deployed overseas. It can also be set for specific times, such as when someone becomes incapacitated or dies.

Now that you have a better understanding of the power of attorney types, you can make an educated decision on which one fits best to your needs.

Contact Our Laguna Woods Estate Planning Team Today

We understand that estate planning can seem like an overwhelming task. At Giammichele Law, APC we are dedicated to making sure the process is smooth and efficient for you and your family.

If you are looking for experienced and compassionate legal representation, contact us today through our website or give us a call at (949) 303-7811 to schedule your consultation today!