Powers of Attorney

The term “power of attorney” (POA) may sound a bit ominous, but it’s simply giving someone the legal right to make decisions for you. It’s often used in cases of elder care or medical conditions when people might be or become unable to make decisions for themselves. The power can be invoked for either short-term or long-term usage. 

The person giving power of attorney to another determines how little, how much and how long the decision-making power will be. For example, a person may have a terminal illness and have certain wishes they want carried out at the end of their life. Power of attorney can be granted for end-of-life care with explicit directions given to the person wielding the power of attorney.

There are three types of power of attorney: limited power of attorney, durable power of attorney and springing power of attorney.

Limited POA gives the attorney-in-fact (person chosen to have the POA) the right to act on behalf of another regarding one specified area, such as health care. POA can also be given in financial matters, business dealings or any other specific area where you might need someone else to make a decision on your behalf. Limited power of attorney automatically expires when the specified deal is completed.

Durable POA gives the attorney-in-fact the legal right to make decisions that span the gamut of normal day-to-day life, including health care, buying or selling real estate or getting a home inspection Milwaukee, and financial and business matters. Durable power of attorney does not expire and is typically the type of POA given when dealing with the long-term health care of an elderly or terminally ill loved one.

Springing POA does not go into effect until or unless a specific event occurs. The event can be anything, but it is often put into place for use if/when a person becomes physically or mentally disabled. If the need should ever arise to create a springing power of attorney, be absolutely specific about what your definition of disabled is so it will be clear to all involved when the time comes for the attorney-in-fact to make the necessary decisions.

At Milwaukee Law, we are here to guide you through this process and make sure you have the protection you need.