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Authority from power of attorney may only go as far as you let it

On Behalf of | Dec 17, 2019 | Care Planning

You want to make things as easy as possible on those you love. But you may be doing them a disservice if you’re putting off any part of end-of-life planning, something that could impact them long before you leave them.

Six in 10 Americans haven’t done the basic planning. Even if you aren’t one of the completely unprepared, you may not have language included to dictate what will happen if you’re incapacitated at any point. When you lose the ability to make decisions for yourself, someone will have to do it for you. Naming the person, and when they take control, can go a long way to alleviating potential pain.

Awarding authority

While a power of attorney documents can allow someone to act in your stead, there are different conditions among the different types:

  • Conventional: A standard power of attorney could provide a wide range of empowering outlines, but it will typically fall short as a health care proxy. The shortcoming in a general power of attorney is that it usually stays in play up to the point you become incapacitated, where it may no longer provide agency.
  • Springing: The conditional model, the springing power of attorney only jumps into action upon a specified event, like incapacitation. At this point, it can give management over your affairs just like a durable agreement. The courts may need to rule whether the situation meets your requirements in the event of dissent.
  • Durable: If you’re looking to begin a power of attorney immediately and allow it to extend into the tougher times, then you may be looking for a durable setup. The durable power of attorney generally bestows authority upon signing and can allow your appointee to make decisions even after you can no longer make them for yourself.

Knowing when a power of attorney grants authority can be a crucial step is planning. Make sure you understand what you need, and you’ll be closer to picking the system that works for you.