A power of attorney is a legal document that lets you — the principal — give someone else — typically called an agent or attorney-in-fact — the power to make economic, health-related or other decisions on your behalf.
At Rosenn Jenkins & Greenwald, LLP, we help you understand the types of powers of attorneys available and decide which type or types work best for you. For almost 60 years, we’ve helped people across Northeastern Pennsylvania make good choices in planning for the future, getting the trust and security they expect.
Durable Financial Powers of Attorney
A durable financial power of attorney permits someone (called the “agent” or the “attorney-in-fact”) to handle the financial affairs of an individual (called the “principal”). The term “durable” means that the power of attorney remains effective after the principal becomes incapacitated. If an incapacitated person has not signed a durable power of attorney, a court-appointed guardian must be appointed to handle the person’s financial affairs. The provisions in Durable Financial Powers of Attorney are effective immediately.
Standby Durable Powers of Attorney
Standby durable powers of attorney are durable powers of attorney whose effective date is delayed. Ordinarily, two or more physicians must formally determine that the principal has become physically or mentally incapacitated before the power of attorney takes effect and gives the agent authority to act. The standby power of attorney remains in effect until the principal regains capacity.
Durable Health Care Powers of Attorney (also called Health Care Proxies) and HIPAA Authorizations
These documents appoint another person as agent to make decisions concerning health care if the principal is unable to make such decisions or communicate them to the health care providers. HIPAA Authorizations, which are often included in health care powers of attorney, allow hospitals and care providers to use or disclose an individual’s protected health information.
Limited Powers of Attorney
These are powers of attorney created for a limited duration or circumstance.