What is a Power of Attorney?
A power of attorney allows you to give someone you trust the power to act on your behalf to take any action you permit in the document and it is an important document should you become incompetent or unable to manage your affairs. These powers of attorney can be made "durable" (they survive your incompetence) and/or "springing" (they become effective upon incompetence). A power of attorney may be revoked written notice of revocation to the person named to act for you is usually required.
If you do not have a power of attorney and become unable to manage affairs, it may become necessary for a court to appoint a conservator to act for you and you may not have the ability to choose the person who will act for you. With a power of attorney, you choose who will act and define their authority and its limits, if any.
A statutory power of attorney is available on this site for download subject to this website's general disclaimer and the other warnings stated on the form. This is a comprehensive form although it is brief. Make sure that the form has been properly signed, dated, and notarized. Witnessing is not sufficient. Keep the original in a safe place where the person you appoint can find it quickly. Give copies of the completed form to the people you have appointed as your agent and alternate agent(s), and to family members or anyone else who is likely to be called if there is a medical emergency.