A power of attorney is a legal instrument where one person (a principal) grants consent authorizing another person (agent/attorney-in-fact) to act on the principal’s behalf. At the onset, it’s important to realize that a power of attorney is not a will or a trust in that it cannot dispose of property after the principal passes away. Powers of attorney must articulate in detail the financial and/or healthcare powers which the agent/successor attorney-in-fact possesses.
There are “normal” powers of attorney and Durable Powers of Attorney. Unlike a typical power of attorney, a durable power of attorney will withstand the disability/incapacity of the principal. A power of attorney is also either “shifting” or “springing.” A shifting power of attorney usually runs concurrently, while a springing power takes place upon the occurrence of a stated event.