December 19

What Is a Power of Attorney? (POA)


A Power of Attorney is a document that gives someone the legal authority to take care of some, or all, of your affairs for you.

Why Would I Need a Power of Attorney?

You may need a Power of Attorney if you’re temporarily unable to take care of certain aspects of your life.

Maybe you’re a digital nomad—traveling and working a lot, serving active duty in the military, or maybe you’re ill, or recuperating from surgery.

A POA can allow someone you trust to represent you, make decisions for you, or take action on your behalf while you’re unavailable.

What Are the Benefits of a POA?

With your POA in place, you’re free to focus on what’s in front of you while someone else maintains other aspects of your life.

The person you appoint to do this (called your “agent”) can make sure things like bills, investments, applications, property, etc., are handled for you in a time-sensitive way.

Are There Different Kinds of POA’s?

There are many different kinds of POA’s that serve different specific purposes.

Two of the most common types are General Power of Attorney, and Special (a.k.a. Limited) Power of Attorney.

For a discussion of the difference between these two common types of POA, see our article, “What’s the Difference Between a General and a Special Power of Attorney?

With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility

Choose your agent carefully!

A POA gives your agent significant power to affect your life for better or worse, so it’s extremely important to choose this person carefully.

You don’t need a lawyer to set up your POA, but if you’d like the security of professional guidance in creating yours, McQuillan & Hohman Law will help you get the benefits of a POA while mitigating risks.


POA, power of attorney

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