Power of Attorney

Last updated April 10th, 2024

What is a Power of Attorney?

In general, a power of attorney is a highly sensitive document that has legal ramifications to allow another person (called the agent’) to make decisions, both legally and medically, over the person who created the document (known as the ‘principal’).

A power of attorney can be of the following:

  • General – Gives the agent broad powers over the Principal.
  • Limited – Typically for highly specific purposes and/or specific time frames.
  • Durable (most common) – A power of attorney that consists of language that allows the agent to make decisions on behalf of the Principal if in an incapacitated state.
  • Medical – Only allows the agent to make healthcare decisions on behalf of the Principal.
  • Springing – A power of attorney that only comes into effect if a circumstance is triggered.

Where to Get a Power of Attorney Form?

A power of attorney form can be obtained online or by a professional attorney that can customize the language in the form to the Principal’s specific needs.

Obtaining a Power of Attorney Online

  • The ability to choose from templates and customize what goes into your power of attorney is more cost effective than hiring a professional.
  • You can easily fill out the template and download within a matter of minutes, especially if one is in an urgent matter where time is of the essence.
  • Even though there are risks of legal errors, most templates are drafted from professional lawyers and the language is straightforward.

Obtaining a Power of Attorney Through a Professional Lawyer

  • For unique situations where the risks are high if the power of attorney is not bullet proof, inquiring a power of attorney through a professional is highly recommended.
  • A lawyer who specializes in estate planning should be sought.