A power of attorney is an instrument by which a person (principal) authorizes another person (the “Agent”) to act on his or her behalf. It is quite common for people to execute a power of attorney for healthcare and a power of attorney for property and finance at the same time of drafting a Will.
In a power of attorney for property and finance, the authority granted to an Agent may be general in nature and thus may authorize the Agent, to act on the grantor’s behalf in conducting his or her financial affairs. Alternatively, the power of attorney may be quite narrow, authorizing the attorney to perform specific acts, such as the sale of specific assets (house, car etc.), the conduct of banking, or the transfer of securities.
Similarly, in a power of attorney for healthcare, the authority granted to an Agent is the authority to make, on his or her behalf, decisions concerning the grantor’s personal care, such as healthcare, shelter, nutrition, clothing, hygiene and safety.
While you can appoint more than one attorney, it is important to decide whether they are to act “jointly” or “jointly and severally”. Depending upon where your Agent resides, such a distinction may have significant practical considerations.