Power of Attorney (Financial or Business Transactions)

A Power of Attorney is a legal document that gives someone you trust the authority to carry out business transactions for you. Types of business transactions might include selling a house, cashing a Social Security check, or making other financial decisions. The person you appoint to act in your place is known as the "attorney in fact" or your agent. It is very important that your agent is someone you trust. There are several types of power of attorney: General Power of Attorney, Special Power of Attorney, and Durable Power of Attorney. Further Information available at the SSC.

Source: Superior Court of Arizona, Maricopa County

A medical power of attorney is a document that lets you appoint someone you trust to make decisions about your medical care. This type of advance directive also may be called a health care proxy, appointment of health care agent or a durable power of attorney for health care.

Source: Medicare.gov

Sometimes a parent or guardian wants to travel or for some other reason does not have direct contact with a minor or incapacitated person for a short time. In these cases, the parent or guardian might want to give the authority and responsibility for the minor or the adult ward to another person whom the parent or guardian trusts. The kinds of powers that might be given can include making medical decisions, getting records or reports, or other matters that would otherwise require the signature or presence of the parent or guardian.

This kind of power of attorney is limited to six months, but it can be renewed. For this kind of power of attorney, the parent or guardian must sign and date a document stating the name of the person to whom the powers are given, the name of the minor or ward, and any restrictions the parent or guardian wishes to put on the person who will now have the power to make decisions for the minor or ward.

There are forms to help you do this in legal form stores and some book stores. After the legal parent or guardian signs the form, the person who has the power of attorney should keep the original to show to doctors, schools, or others that want proof of legal authority.

Source: Superior Court of Arizona, Maricopa County

When a person (the "principal") authorizes someone else (the "agent" or "attorney in fact") to take care of business for the principal. A power of attorney authorizes the agent to do whatever is necessary to manage the principal's assets. A "limited" or "special" power of attorney can be made more restrictive, by setting time limits for the agent to serve, limiting the agent to certain actions, or authorizing the agent to manage only particular assets. There are "general" powers of attorney, "limited" or "special" powers of attorney, and "durable" powers of attorney. A general or limited power of attorney ends when the principal becomes incapacitated. A durable power of attorney stays in effect if the principal becomes incapacitated.

Source: California Courts.