An Experienced Massachusetts Estate Planning Attorney Explains the Types of Powers of Attorney

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Do you ever think about what may happen if you become incapacitated and lose the ability to speak up for yourself? Contemplating your future can feel overwhelming, though it’s necessary. Spending the time to build an adequate plan is essential for your peace of mind.

You may have heard the term “power of attorney,” but did you know that you can choose between multiple types of powers of attorney?

At The Law Offices of Kimberly Butler Rainen in Andover, Massachusetts, we aim to help you plan for anything life may throw at you. Below, we discuss everything you need to know about the different powers of attorney.

What Is a Power of Attorney?

A power of attorney (POA) is a legal document that delegates the authority to make legal or financial decisions on your behalf to someone else if you are unable to or become incapacitated. Powers of attorney can have different controls depending on what access level you allow.

Sometimes, people may delegate a power of attorney if they’re traveling outside the country and want someone to manage their financial matters and bank accounts while they’re gone. More commonly, people create powers of attorney to allow others to make medical decisions for them if they become too sick to do so themself.

Different Types of Powers of Attorney

Before creating a power of attorney, you must understand the different types to select the most appropriate option for your needs.

A limited power of attorney grants a person you designate the authority to complete a specific action on your behalf within a specified time frame. For example, you could give a relative or friend the ability to sign off on a business document in your name while you’re out of town. After they complete their duty, their power will dissolve.

A general power of attorney allows someone else to complete all legal actions on your behalf as soon as you sign the general POA document. The person to whom you grant this power will be able to make medical decisions for you, complete financial transactions, sign your name, recommend child guardians, manage real estate, make gifts of money, and more.

You can opt for a general power of attorney if you wish for someone to help you with different legal processes or transactions while you’re alive and well. A general power of attorney document will dissolve after you pass away or become incapacitated.

A durable power of attorney can have limited or general duties, though this person may maintain their control even after you become incapacitated. If you do not appoint anyone with durable power, you risk having no one to speak on your behalf if you become too ill or incapacitated to do so yourself. A durable power of attorney remains in effect until your death.

A springing power of attorney will only allow the person as your agent to exercise the authority given in the power of attorney if you become incapacitated. In the document, you can outline what constitutes incapacitation, and if that scenario happens, your chosen agent will have the ability to act on your behalf.

Why an Estate Planning Attorney Recommends Creating a Power of Attorney

Life is unpredictable, and you never know when something may happen. At The Law Offices of Kimberly Butler Rainen, we recommend that everyone creates a power of attorney to protect their personal interests, financial security, and assets.

Without this planning, state and federal laws make it difficult to manage your affairs in the event you cannot do so yourself – unless you have designated someone with the power of attorney to act on your behalf.

When Should I Seek an Estate Planning Attorney Near Me?

You should seek an estate planning attorney as soon as possible to begin discussing your power of attorney options. Many people wait too long because they feel healthy and do not realize the importance of planning ahead. It’s wise to take the time now – while you are of sound mind and in good health – to prepare for any future eventuality.

The Law Offices of Kimberly Butler Rainen: Find an Estate Planning Lawyer Near Me Today

Don’t wait to plan for your future. Meet with The Law Offices of Kimberly Butler Rainen to discuss your options for powers of attorney. We serve clients from our locations in Andover and Burlington, Massachusetts.

We offer a brief 15-minute “get to know you” call for first-time clients to see if we’re a good fit for your needs. After that, you can set up a strategy session to discuss the next steps. Call us at (978) 409-1928, or fill out our online form to speak with an empathetic and genuine estate planning lawyer about your situation.

Copyright © 2022. The Law Offices of Kimberly Butler Rainen. All rights reserved.

The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information in this post should be construed as legal advice from the individual author or the law firm, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting based on any information included in or accessible through this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country, or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.


The Law Offices of Kimberly Butler Rainen
23 Central St.
Andover, MA 01810
(978) 409-1928

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