Types of Power of Attorney for Elderly Family Members

By Marie Murdock

The health of an aging family member may determine the type of power of attorney she will agree to or is able to sign. A power of attorney is a document whereby someone known as the principal will appoint an agent or attorney-in-fact to act on her behalf. A principal often grants power of attorney to a trusted family member with a keen business sense so that she knows her affairs are being handled according to her wishes.

Specific

Elderly doesn’t always mean disabled, and many elderly people remain active well into their golden years. If your retired family member travels frequently, she may need to appoint an agent to handle a specific transaction, such as the sale of a vehicle or real estate, while she is away. A specific power of attorney allows the agent to handle only those transactions that are specifically described in the power of attorney. A specific power of attorney generally expires once the transaction has been completed.

General Durable

A power of attorney with broad and sweeping powers is referred to as a general, durable power of attorney. This document allows the agent to perform most acts the principal could do herself if present. While a principal must be mentally competent at the time the power of attorney is executed, a durable power of attorney remains in effect even after the principal later becomes incompetent and unable to handle her affairs. This provision allows the agent to perform necessary financial transactions and other acts that otherwise might have required the appointment of a guardian or conservator by the courts.

Ready to appoint a power of attorney? Get Started Now

Springing

A power of attorney that is signed while the principal is competent but doesn’t become effective until she becomes incompetent is referred to as a springing power of attorney. Under a springing power of attorney, the principal continues to handle all of her own affairs until such time as she has been ruled incompetent by the method described in the power of attorney. Often incompetency is determined by the family member’s treating physician. Some states, such as Florida, may not recognize the validity of a springing power of attorney except in limited circumstances.

Medical

Technological advances in the medical field have made it possible to keep people biologically alive through the use of life-sustaining equipment. Many people sign a medical power of attorney that allows one or more family members to make crucial medical decisions on their behalf, including the right to discontinue life-sustaining procedures, under the circumstances described in the document. The principal generally will discuss these intentions prior to appointing the agent so that the agent is fully aware of her wishes in the event she is unable to direct her own medical care. A copy of a medical power of attorney is often also provided to the treating physician and may be referred to as an advance directive.

Ready to appoint a power of attorney? Get Started Now
Can You Admit Someone to a Nursing Home With Medical Power of Attorney?
 

References

Related articles

How to Activate a Power of Attorney

A power of attorney allows a person to sign legal documents and act on your behalf in transactions that you would ordinarily only be able to handle yourself. Those transactions may be very broad in nature, allowing that person to step into your shoes to handle all your affairs, or they may be very specific, only allowing that person to perform specified transactions that, for various reasons, you may be unavailable to perform yourself.

How to Get Power of Attorney for a Family Member in Michigan

A power of attorney is a legal document that authorizes you to make legally significant decisions on behalf of someone else. It may, for example, authorize you to select among available medical treatments or manage someone's finances. Michigan has passed legislation governing the form and effects of a power of attorney. To get power of attorney over a family member, you must draft the document, make sure your family member understands it, and have her execute it in the manner required by Michigan law.

Power of Attorney Between a Husband & Wife

A power of attorney is a legal document that allows one person, known as the attorney-in-fact, to act in another person’s place. Powers granted under a power of attorney may be many and carry great authority, or they may be few and very limited. Although any trusted friend or family member may be appointed as attorney-in-fact, the logical choice is a spouse.

Power of Attorney

Related articles

How to Obtain Power of Attorney in Indiana

A power of attorney is a powerful legal device that allows a person, known as the principal, to delegate the power to ...

Does a Durable Power of Attorney Grant the Right to Deny Visitors to a Patient?

An agent under a durable medical power of attorney has authority to act on behalf of an incapacitated principal to make ...

Does a Power of Attorney Have the Right to View Medical Records?

A person named in a medical power of attorney generally has broad authority to make all medical decisions for the ...

How to Become the Power of Attorney for a Disabled Person

A parent or other family member may become physically disabled to the point that it is extremely difficult to travel in ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED