Power of attorneys (POAs) are legal documents where you appoint a representative to act as your attorney (agent). There are many reasons you need a power of attorney. Most people are familiar with what is called an enduring power of attorney (EPA). An EPA appoints someone to make decisions on your behalf if and when you lose your mental or legal capacity.
Many people are surprised to learn that an enduring power of attorney is only one type of POA that can be created. There is also a specific POA and a general POA. While the EPA serves as a protection mechanism, the specific and general POAs are useful legal tools that can provide ease and convenience to various business transactions.
A specific (or special) POA allows someone to act on your behalf on a specific matter. Specific Power of Attorneys can also be used to complete a single transaction. For example, appointing someone as your attorney to sign for you on the purchase of a home because you will be away on business when the transaction takes place.
A general POA gives a very broad power to your appointed attorney. When you appoint someone under a general POA, you are giving that person the ability to do anything that you can legally do. General Power of Attorneys are useful when a person will be out of town for an extended period of time or are unavailable for some reason to sign documents on their own behalf.
The great thing about all Power of Attorneys is that they can be customized to your specific wishes and circumstances. You can choose who your attorney is, what their decision-making power applies to and when their decision-making power will come into effect.