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What can a specific power of attorney accomplish?

Did you know that there is more than just one type of power of attorney? Many people are not aware that there are different powers of attorney, each designed to accomplish a certain purpose. Today, we will look at the specific power of attorney.

What is a power of attorney (POA)?

Before we dive into the specific POA, it is helpful to have a basic understanding of what a POA can accomplish. This legal tool essentially gives you the ability to name another individual to act on your behalf. This named individual can make decisions regarding your finances, medical choices, or the care of your children when a triggering event occurs as described within the POA.

It is important to note that although all states allow for the use of a POA, each state will have different requirements when putting together a POA. A failure to follow these requirements can mean a POA will never go into effect as intended.

How is a specific POA different and when is it beneficial?

A specific power of attorney (POA) is limited to a defined period of time and/or purpose — the principal chooses the length of time. The POA is then used to give others the right and responsibility to carry out actions on behalf of the grantor of the POA. Examples include:

  • Granting someone the ability to sign a legal document such as a contract or real estate transaction when you cannot be there.
  • Allowing someone to make defined business or financial decision while you are away.
  • Allowing a designated agent (also called an attorney in fact) of your child to make medical care decisions for your child. This is beneficial in a number of situations, such as if a parent is leaving the country for vacation or business.

This type of power of attorney is quite specific in its scope but can also be invaluable in certain situations.