Attorney of Power Meaning

An attorney of power, also known as a power of attorney (POA), is a legal document that grants authority to another person (the attorney-in-fact) to act on your behalf in legal and financial matters. It empowers the attorney-in-fact to make decisions and perform actions as if they were you, within the scope of the powers you have granted. Having an attorney of power can provide peace of mind knowing that your interests are protected even when you are unable to handle your affairs yourself due to various reasons like illness or absence.

Types of Attorneys of Power

General POA

A general power of attorney grants broad and comprehensive authority to the attorney-in-fact to act on your behalf in all matters related to your property, finances, and personal care. This type of POA is often used in situations where you may need someone to manage your affairs temporarily, such as during a period of travel or hospitalization. A general POA can be revoked at any time by the principal as long as they are mentally competent.

Allows for flexibility in decision-makingMay lead to potential misuse of power
Provides continuity in managing affairsRequires a high level of trust in the attorney-in-fact
Can be easily revoked or amendedDoes not offer protection in case of incapacity

Limited POA

A limited power of attorney grants specific authority to the attorney-in-fact to act in only certain specified matters, such as managing real estate transactions, handling investments, or signing legal documents on your behalf. This type of POA is useful when you want to delegate authority for a particular task or transaction without granting broad powers to the attorney-in-fact.

  • Advantages:
    • Provides control over the scope of authority granted
    • Limits the risk of misuse or abuse of power
    • Can be tailored to meet specific needs or circumstances
  • Disadvantages:
    • May require multiple POAs for different tasks
    • Limited in flexibility compared to a general POA
    • Requires careful drafting to ensure clarity and specificity

Springing POA

A springing power of attorney becomes effective only upon the occurrence of a specific event or trigger, such as your incapacity or absence. This type of POA is often used as a safeguard to ensure that your interests are protected only when you are unable to make decisions or handle your affairs yourself.

  1. Advantages:
    • Provides protection in case of future incapacity
    • Ensures that the attorney-in-fact can only act when necessary
    • Offers a sense of security and control over decision-making
  2. Disadvantages:
    • Requires clear criteria for triggering the POA
    • May involve delays in activating the POA
    • Can be complex to implement and administer

Durable POA

A durable power of attorney remains valid even if you become incapacitated, ensuring continuity of representation and decision-making in such situations. This type of POA is designed to provide ongoing support and assistance to the principal, especially in cases where long-term care or management of affairs is needed.

  • Advantages:
    • Provides seamless transition of authority in case of incapacity
    • Ensures that your interests are protected even when you are unable to act
    • Offers peace of mind knowing that someone trusted can step in when needed
  • Disadvantages:
    • Requires careful selection of the attorney-in-fact
    • May raise concerns about potential abuse of power
    • Needs to be regularly reviewed and updated to reflect changing circumstances

Importance of Having an Attorney of Power

Having an attorney of power can be crucial in safeguarding your interests and ensuring that your wishes are carried out even when you are unable to make decisions or handle your affairs yourself. Here are some key reasons why having a POA is important:

  1. Protection in Times of Need: An attorney of power can provide protection and support in times of illness, incapacity, or absence, ensuring that your interests are looked after by someone you trust.
  2. Continuity of Decision-Making: With a POA in place, you can ensure continuity in managing your affairs and making important decisions, even when you are unable to do so yourself.
  3. Peace of Mind: Knowing that you have designated someone to act on your behalf can give you peace of mind and alleviate concerns about what might happen in case of unexpected events.

How to Create an Attorney of Power

Creating an attorney of power involves several steps to ensure that the document is legally valid and accurately reflects your wishes and intentions. Here’s a guide on how to create a POA:

Determine Your Needs

Before creating a POA, it’s important to identify your specific needs and objectives. Consider what powers you want to grant to the attorney-in-fact and under what circumstances the POA should become effective.

Choose the Right Attorney-in-Fact

Selecting the right person to act as your attorney-in-fact is crucial. Make sure to choose someone who is trustworthy, reliable, and capable of handling the responsibilities associated with the role.

Draft the POA Document

The next step is to draft the POA document, either on your own using a template or with the help of a legal professional. The document should clearly outline the powers granted, the limitations, and any conditions for activation.

  1. Include Necessary Details: Make sure to include all relevant details, such as your name, the attorney-in-fact’s name, the powers granted, and any specific instructions or limitations.
  2. Review and Sign the Document: Once the document is drafted, review it carefully to ensure accuracy and completeness. Sign the document in the presence of witnesses or a notary public as required by law.
  3. Distribute Copies: Provide copies of the signed POA document to your attorney-in-fact, trusted family members, and any other relevant parties who may need to know about its existence.

Register the POA (Optional)

While not always required, registering the POA with the relevant authorities can provide added protection and ensure that the document is recognized and honored when needed.


In conclusion, an attorney of power is a valuable legal tool that can help protect your interests and ensure that your wishes are carried out even when you are unable to act on your own behalf. By understanding the different types of attorneys of power, their benefits and limitations, and how to create a POA, you can take proactive steps to plan for the future and safeguard your financial and personal affairs. Whether you opt for a general, limited, springing, or durable POA, having this document in place can provide peace of mind and security in knowing that you have designated someone you trust to act on your behalf when needed.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *