A power of attorney is a powerful estate planning tool. However, there are several different types of powers of attorney, and each is used for different purposes. Therefore, before executing a power of attorney, it’s important to understand which option is best for you. In this article, we examine the different types of power of attorney.
General Power of Attorney
A general power of attorney gives another person (called an attorney-in-fact) all the powers and rights that you have yourself. Through a general power of attorney, your attorney-in-fact can do things like pay your bills, sign documents for you, and conduct financial transactions on your behalf. A general power of attorney is useful if you aren’t incapacitated but need assistance with financial matters. A general power of attorney terminates upon your death or incapacitation unless you rescind it prior to that time.
Limited Power of Attorney
As opposed to a general power of attorney, a limited power of attorney gives someone the power to act on your behalf for a limited purpose. For example, a limited power of attorney could give another person the right to sign a specific legal document on your behalf on a day when you are unavailable. A limited power of attorney usually terminates at a time specified in the document.
Durable Power of Attorney
A durable power of attorney may be general or limited, but it remains effective after you become incapacitated. Unless you execute a durable power of attorney, if you ever become incapacitated, no one will be permitted to represent you unless a court appoints someone to do so. A durable power of attorney remains in effect until your death unless you rescind it while you are of sound mind.
Springing Power of Attorney
A springing power of attorney, like a durable power of attorney, allows your attorney-in-fact to act on your behalf if you become incapacitated. However, it doesn’t become effective until you are incapacitated. Therefore, if you execute a springing power of attorney, the document must clearly define the standard for determining incapacity and triggering the power of attorney. Although springing powers of attorney are unavailable in Florida, they remain an estate planning option in New York.
Contact a Florida and New York Estate Planning Attorney
Regardless of your unique estate planning needs, when it comes to planning for your family’s future, you need an experienced Florida and New York estate planning attorney on your side. At the Law Office of Angela Siegel, attorney Angela Siegel uses her knowledge and experience to provide comprehensive estate planning services to residents of Florida and New York. Ms. Siegel approaches the estate planning process with the aim of ensuring that you and your family remain fully protected no matter what happens in the future. Please contact us today to schedule a free initial consultation.