When you need to grant someone the authority to act as your agent and make decisions for you, a power of attorney can meet your needs. Contrary to common belief, you have more than one type of this legal instrument to choose from in California.
The right one (or ones) for you will depend upon your short and long-term needs and goals. Legal guidance can help you identify your needs and choose the most beneficial powers of attorney. In the meantime, you can learn about these powerful estate planning tools in the sections below.
General power of attorney
Those wishing to grant broad decision-making powers to an authorized agent may do so with a general power of attorney. However, be aware that authorized agents could misuse their authority, especially with generous access to your wealth or assets.
Medical power of attorney
Many people fear incapacitation that may arise from a medical condition or an injury. With a healthcare power of attorney, you can designate a trusted agent to make medical decisions when you cannot. It allows you to choose the treatments you want and those you do not if you cannot speak for yourself.
Limited power of attorney
For some, granting broad decision-making authority to another is out of the question. A limited power of attorney can solve your problem because it allows you to specify what your agent can and cannot do on your behalf. For example, you can grant them access to your bank account but stipulate that they may only make deposits and no withdrawals.
Discuss your circumstances and concerns with an estate planning professional to find a power of attorney you feel most comfortable implementing.