General Power of Attorney
A general power of attorney, sometimes called a financial power of attorney, is a legal document that gives a person, of your choosing, the right to make decisions on your behalf. A power of attorney may be limited. For example, if you are unable to attend the closing on the sale of your home, you can give your spouse power of attorney to sign on your behalf. You may also set up a power of attorney to give a trusted person the right to make certain financial decisions or your behalf when you are incapacitated due to illness or are unreachable for an extended period. This can be valuable if you become incapacitated and someone must pay your bills.
A power of attorney can be limited to a single event or may be a “durable power of attorney” that remains in effect until it is revoked. You may make the Power of Attorney effective immediately or contingent upon an event or condition. For example, the Power of Attorney may go into effect only if two doctors declare in writing that you are mentally unfit to take care of your own affairs.