Do I Need Power of Attorney?
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Do I Need Power of Attorney?

Together with a will, power of attorney (or POA) for finances and healthcare needs be part of everyone’s estate planning documentation. Read below to find out about the different kinds of power of attorney documentation, and when each might be needed.

There are a lot of reasons to implement a power of attorney, and there are a lot of kinds of powers of attorney. Some are a wise idea to have in place presently, since you never know when an emergency might come up and a power of attorney is going to be needed. Other kinds of powers of attorney might only be needed if a specific situation comes up.

Who Requires a Power of Attorney?

Individuals that want to allow another individual to carry out particular legal acts on their behalf requires a power of attorney. Power of attorney documentation can allow another individual to manage financial matters, make decisions concerning healthcare, or the care for your child(ren). A lot of states have a formal power of attorney documentation that are easily used.

Understanding Language

To comprehend powers of attorney there are a couple of legal terms you’ll need to know.

  • An individual that is given authority by a POA. Also known as an attorney in fact (that has nothing to do with being an attorney).
  • Durable Power of Attorney. A POA is durable when it continuously is in effect following you becoming debilitated.
  • Limited or Special Power of Attorney. A POA that provides less than total authority upon the agent. A lot of powers of attorney paperwork gives the agent authority that is as extensive and broad as can be. A limited POA, occasionally described as as a special POA, allows less authority. It may only give a few particular powers, or may only apply to one financial transaction, or may only exist briefly.
  • An individual that carries out a power of attorney to give another individual authority to act on their behalf.
  • Springing POA. A power of attorney is deemed springing when it is not effective straightaway but becomes effective down the road because of the occurrence of specified events, for instance, when it becomes effective upon your debilitation.

Financial Power of Attorney

A financial POA can be used for a single transaction, for specific kinds of transactions, or for every transaction. Therefore, do you require a power of attorney for your finances?

It is wise to have a springing-durable financial POA as part of your estate planning. This will allow an individual you trust to manage your financial matters in the event you become debilitated. In other respects, it might be necessary for a family member to petition the court to designate a guardian or conservator of your property, in which is a costly, laborious, and affecting process.

Circumstances may come up where you require a limited financial power of attorney. This typically happens when you’re involved in a financial transaction but aren’t available to sign documents. For instance, you could carry out a power of attorney that enables your spouse, a business colleague, your attorney, or a trusted friend to be present at real estate closings and sign documents for you. Or you could enable an individual to sign documents to transfer the title to say, a boat.

Power of Attorney for Healthcare

Healthcare powers of attorney grants your agent the power in making medical treatment decisions for you, should you be unable to do so. This may be because you’re mentally impaired to make informed decisions or are unable to convey a decision. The agent’s power is not restricted to end-of-life decisions (usually covered in living wills) but broadens to medical decisions that don’t inevitably involve life-or-death circumstances. For instances, you may be temporarily unconscious because of a car accident, and your agent needs to explore the benefits and likelihood between instant surgery and trying out prescription drugs first.

Healthcare POA’s are occasionally known as an advance directive, a designation of patient proponent, a healthcare proxy, subject to each state’s laws.

Your agent’s power only exists while you are debilitated. Should you regain the capability to make and convey informed decisions, you also regain the capability in making those decisions.

Therefore, do you need a healthcare POA? It is wise to have a healthcare POA as part of your estate plan. Should you become debilitated and are without a healthcare agent, it might be necessary for a loved one to petition a court to designate a guardian, in which is a costly, laborious and affecting process.

Child Care Power of Attorney

Some states allow a childcare POA, in which enables your agent to make decisions concerning the care of your child. This is usually done when a child will be briefly living with family members or others in a location some ways away from their parents. Such a power of attorney might cover things like registering the child in school, permitting to field trips, and possibly making emergency medical care decisions should a parent not being reached quickly.

Deciding on an Agent

The question “Do I need a POA?” is just the initial question. After you decide that a power of attorney is required, you should ask “Who should I trust in being my agent?”

  • For a financial POA, it is important that you have trust in your agent’s financial understanding and ability in making good financial decisions.
  • For a healthcare POA, it is important that you speak with your agent about your wishes concerning your medical care. Are you wanting everything possible to be done in keeping you alive? Do you want some procedures and therapies, but not others? Are there particular circumstances where you wouldn’t want anything to happen? You may clarify such desires through the POA itself, or in an individual document known as a living will or advance directive.

Provided you have an individual that you trust, you should have a POA for both finances and healthcare. Special circumstances might also suggest a limited power of attorney is required.


  1. Edward A. Haman, E. (2020, December 10). Do I need a power of attorney? LegalZoom.

Choose the Right Attorney in Arizona

Regardless of the choice you make, it’s important you make the best choice for you when hiring an attorney. Remember: The decisions you make now can affect your future. Ultimately, choosing the best lawyer will depend on which lawyer feels best for you and your situation.

If you want to learn about Michelle N. Ogborne and see if she is the right attorney to represent you in your collaborative divorce in Arizona, contact us today!

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