A power of attorney is a legal document that allows another person of your choice to make decisions for you and on your behalf. The limits of the ability for that person to make your decisions is often restricted and specified within the POA. Although many people believe there are only two types of power of attorneys available, there are actually four. Here are some of the differences.

A Durable POA

A power of attorney that is durable becomes effective when signed and stays in effect for the lifetime of the individual. The only way to withdraw the authority held under a power of attorney in St. Louis is if you cancel it in writing. Popular for agents, the authority given allows management of affairs to be inexpensively concluded. The document wording should include a phrase signifying it continues if you become incapacitated.

A Conventional POA

Used by music industry moguls, movie stars, middle-class people, and wealthy individuals, the conventional POA allows specific actions to take place in your name when you are unable to give your authority for the action. Sometimes the authority is used when people are traveling and need to sign a lease on a home, unable to be in town to close a redecoration deal, or in order to sell investments in someone’s name. The authorized power may be very specific, or the POA could grant broad access to your personal property. This type of permission only lasts until the specified event is completed or you are deemed unable to mentally make your own decisions.

A Medical POA

The medical POA is a healthcare proxy that allows another person to make decisions for you that could involve your life and death. As long as you are able to make your own choices, this type of POA does not over-ride your decision-making ability, but rather it takes effect only if you become unable to do so. Once you have recovered from your injury or illness, the POA is considered canceled unless needed again.

A Springing POA

Considered the most limited of all types of POAs, the springing power of attorney is only activated when a specific event happens – the most common is incapacitation. Since the triggering event is specific, this POA should be written by a legal representative that can craft it so that loopholes are limited.

As you can see, different power of attorneys can be beneficial under different situations. Which one is right for you? That depends on your situation and what event you are preparing for. If you have questions regarding a POA, contact an estate planning attorney for answers.