There are two types of power of attorney:
- Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care and General Power of Attorney. With a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care, you may appoint someone to make health care decisions for you when your physician has determined you are unable to do so yourself. This person can provide informed consent for treatment or even refuse treatment for you.
- With a General Power of Attorney, the appointed Attorney in Fact, has the power to manage and transfer all assets, manage and pay debts, make gifts on your behalf, and much more. The General Power of Attorney can become effective upon your physician determining you are incapacitated and unable to make decisions on your own; effective upon a specific date; or effective immediately.
Careful consideration should be given when selecting someone to act as your Power of Attorney, due to the responsibilities he/she will gain. One benefit to creating a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care and General Power Attorney, is that the Attorney in Fact does not have to go through the Court to be appointed as a Guardian or a Conservator, although they serve essentially the same role. The appointment of Guardians and Conservators is more costly and requires court involvement.