A Power of Attorney (POA) is a document that will state the name of the person who has the power to act on your behalf when they conduct any important transactions for you. The person who is acting in your behalf is referred to as the attorney-in-fact. When utilizing the power of attorney the attorney-in-fact is expected to act with complete integrity and honesty. The most important benefit of being an attorney-in-fact is the relationship of trust that you build with the one gives them the power of attorney.
Power of attorney benefits
- It helps to ease the burden when decisions are needed to be made but are unable to make them. For example, in a company when the board of directors is required to be at every meeting but cannot it becomes difficult to make decisions that are important for the company. It is virtually impossible to communicate cases to the non-attending board members, listen to their point of view, and cinch the deal, especially if there are several board members that cannot or do not attend the board meetings. Many times the company attorney is given the power of attorney to sign on behalf of the senior managers. This saves them the effort of being there at every board meeting.
- Health issues-a power of attorney is significant when making decisions that are health related. This is called a medical power of attorney. It will designate a trusted person to make in good faith health care decisions for the one who signed the document. The attorney-in-fact will make health care decisions when the principal, who is the one that gave legal permission to make the decisions, is medically incapable to make decisions themselves. The medical power of attorney does prevent the attorney-in-fact from making decisions that are related to convulsive treatment, abortion, psychosurgery, commitment to a mental institution, and neglect of comfort care. If the principal is on life support, it does give them right to decide to plug or not.
- Monetary transactions-this enables the attorney-in-fact to handle monetary transactions when the one signing the legal document cannot manage the finance on their own. It gives the right for them to act on your behalf in managing your assets, investing in share market, or selling property.
- Family matters-when engaged couples are in a long distance relationship or married but are living apart because of professional reasons, or in the military, the power of attorney will allow either of them to handle finances, use money in case of emergency, claim a bank account, or run the household if the need arises. It also helps to show the relationship of trust you have with your partner.