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The different powers of attorney

One of the primary reasons for planning your estate while you are able to do so is to ensure that you and your interests will be cared for when you are no longer able to care for them yourself. This is done by creating legal documents and appointing people to fulfill certain roles. One of those most important roles a person can fulfill is that of power of attorney.

Power of attorney

A power of attorney itself is a legal document. This document provides someone of your choosing with the ability to make legal decisions on your behalf. One of the convenient aspects of assigning power of attorney to someone is that you can give them as much or as little as you want.

For example, you can give someone the ability to make a single decision in regard to a specific matter on your behalf, or you can give them the ability to make any number of decisions in regard to any number of things. However, there are different types of power of attorney for different things, but there are two main types; financial and medical.

Financial power of attorney

When you give someone financial power of attorney, you are essentially giving them the legal ability to make a transaction for you. Again, you can give them the power to make a single transaction, or you can give them the power to make any number of decisions.

If, however, you want to provide someone with the ability to make financial decision for you if you can no longer make them yourself, you must give them what is known as durable power of attorney. By giving someone durable financial power of attorney, they have the legal ability to make financial decisions for you if you become physically or mentally unable to make those decisions yourself.

Medical power of attorney

Medical power of attorney functions in a very similar way as financial power of attorney except that it is exclusively durable. The medical power of attorney is designed to give a person of your choosing the ability to make medical decisions for you should you be unable to make those decisions yourself.

This individual will generally work with your healthcare providers to ensure that you get the care you want. Sometimes your exact wishes will be detailed in a living will, in which case the person you have named as medical power of attorney will be responsible to enacting those wishes.

Power of attorney, whether it be medical, financial, or durable, is relatively easy to give. The state of California has a website on which all the necessary forms are available. Once they have been filled out and submitted to the proper authorities, your decisions will be legally binding.

Oftentimes, giving someone power of attorney is used as a portion of a larger estate plan. If you intend to develop a holistic estate plan, you may want to utilize the services of an experienced legal professional.

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