What is Power of Attorney? – Its Type & Usage

A power of attorney or POA is an estate planning document that is used to appoint an agent to handle your affairs. There are several types of POAs at a different level of authority and it’s important to find the right POA to meet your needs. For example, medical power of attorney will give you the authority to make healthcare decisions, while another agent will help you with your legal and fiscal affairs. 

Here are the types of power of attorney that you can avail of in times of emergencies with the help of a family law firm in Singapore

  • Durable power of attorney

A lasting power of attorney is effective immediately after you sign the document and this allows your agent to act on your behalf if you are not able to. If you fall ill or go into a coma and are incapacitated, your agent will have the authority to make financial or health-related decisions on your behalf. This power ends when you die and rescind a durable POA as long as you are competent.

  • Non-durable power of attorney

This type of power of attorney expires if you become incapacitated or die. If you fall into a coma, any and every authority given to your agent will be removed and your court-appointed guardian or conservator can make decisions for you. 

  • Medical power of attorney

This lasting power of attorney is also called an advance directive and allows you to pick your health care agent. This person will make medical decisions for you if you are unable to do so yourself. Your agent will have authority over medical treatment, surgical procedures, artificial hydration, choice of healthcare facilities, release of medical records, and organ donation and nutrition. They will also be in charge of deciding medical care or you do not resuscitate (DNR form) or living will. 

  • General power of attorney

Family law firms in Singapore give your agent a broad power to act on your behalf in making financial, business, real estate, paying bills, entering contracts, buying and selling property, and legal decisions that would otherwise be your responsibility. Given the extensive control, you may want to use this kind of POA only for a short period of time until you regain physical or emotional wellbeing and can manage your affairs. 

  • Limited power of attorney

In contrast with the general power of attorney, a limited power of attorney gives an agent the power to act on specific tasks and not all purposes. For example, an agent can allow someone to cash your checks but won’t be able to manage your finances fully. This kind of POA is time-specific and not for a long time.

  • Springing power of attorney

A springing power of attorney only goes into effect if a certain event or illness specifies that the POA is needed. For example, if you’re deployed overseas then the military personnel may send a springing power of attorney till you come back or until you are incapacitated or die. 

The Bottom Line

Each type of power of attorney has its own purposes and time limits. Some are deployed for some time and certain tasks whereas others are deployed for a long time, until the person dies or if the person is incapacitated. Depending on your reason, you can choose a different power of attorney for each plan, be it real estate, medical, financial, or family. They will stand in and make decisions when you are not able to and you can confidently choose the right power of attorney that fits your situation, needs, and requirements. 

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