A Power of Attorney grants another person legal authority to manage your legal and financial affairs on your behalf. In order to appoint someone as your attorney, you must be mentally competent. The person you appoint is called an Attorney. Due to the significant nature of the powers you are assigning, you should ensure you choose someone you trust.

A General Power of Attorney allows for complete control over all your finances and property. A Specific Power of Attorney can be designated solely for a single transaction, or a specific time frame.

A Power of Attorney is only in effect as long as the adult (person who made the document) is able to act for themselves. It is invalidated if they die or become mentally incompetent. An Enduring Power of Attorney is still valid even if they later become incapacitated. A power of attorney cannot be used to designate distribution of assets upon death.

A Power of Attorney is useful when planning for potential incapacity or extended time away.

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Term Definitions

Incapacity: Defined as the “Physical or mental inability to do something or to manage one's affairs.” A person is deemed incapacitated when they are incapable of managing or identifying the consequences of decisions regarding their personal lives, their property or decisions about their health care.