Like most legal undertakings, setting up and enforcing power of attorney (POA) documents can be a confusing process. Yet, these essential tools can help aging adults and their families gain peace of mind regarding future care. Geriatric care manager, Buckley Fricker, JD, explains what powers and limitations POA documents can give.
The Two Types of POA
POA documents allow a person (the principal) to decide in advance whom they trust and want to act on their behalf if they become incapable of making decisions for themselves. The person who acts on behalf of the principal is called the agent.
From there, it is important to distinguish between the two main types of POA: medical and financial.
A medical POA (also known as healthcare POA) gives a trustworthy friend or family member (the agent) the ability to make decisions about the care the principal receives if they are incapacitated. A financial POA gives an agent the ability to make financial decisions on behalf of the principal. It is common to appoint one person to act as an agent for both financial and healthcare decisions, but in some cases it may be wise to separate the two. (Agingcare.com)
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