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The Different Types Of Power Of Attorney

There are different types of power of attorney. These are meant to ensure that the needs of the principal is properly addressed and provided for. When preparing or creating a power of attorney, it is important to get lawyer assistance.

They would be able to help you identify what type of power of attorney would be best suitable for your needs.


• General power of attorney

The general power of attorney provides the attorney-)n-fact (or agent) authority in all situations unless specified by the document. General power of attorney would include accessing safe deposit boxes, setting up trusts, transferring assets to trust funds, filing tax returns, entering contracts, representing the principal (signor of the document) and buying and selling property.

This type of power of attorney would be valid unless specified by the document, the principal dies or revokes the document, or the document specifies that it would end upon the event when the principal gets incapacitated or disabled.


• Specific power of attorney

If the attorney-in-fact is only granted authority over specific transactions like collecting debts, buying and selling property, then it is referred to as the specific power of attorney. The attorney-in-fact would only perform duties specified in the document until the principal revokes the document. Aside from revoking, both general and specific power of attorney is discontinued upon the principal’s incapacity and death.

An example will be the Power of Attorney for HDB.


• Non-durable power of attorney

The clear characteristic of the non-durable power of attorney is that it is for short-term transactions only. In a situation when the principal could not handle a transaction, then this type may be more suitable. Usually, this kind of power of attorney has an expiration. When the principal becomes incapacitated or is no longer able to provide authority for the continuation of the power of attorney, the document is no longer valid.


Lasting Power of Attorney or Durable power of attorney

Unlike the non-durable type, the lasting power of attorney can continue even after the principal becomes incapacitated or becomes incompetent in making decisions. The lasting power of attorney can be terminated if the principal would terminate it or in the event of the principal’s death.

Lasting power of attorney could cover health and care decisions, like discontinuing life support or surgery. It could also include financial matters unless specified by the document and the principal.


• Springing power of attorney

The springing power of attorney would “spring” in a specific event which is specified by the power of attorney. It could be an event of disability, illness or travel abroad. it would only be valid, if there are doctor or doctors which identified that the principal is indeed incapacitated.

However, it may pose some problems since mentally incapacitated is defined subjectively and difficult to determine. So it is not recommended that durable power of attorney would be “springing.”


• Health care power of attorney

This power of attorney is specified for only health care issues and is commonly used by principals who are suffering from terminal or mental illnesses. This kind of power of attorney is only contained in medical scope and could not be used for other duties.



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