A power of attorney is a legal document which permits you to dictate who you want to make decisions on your behalf. While there are many useful purposes for a power of attorney, they are especially important to unmarried couples, which live together, when a partner becomes incapacitated and not able to make decisions.
In such circumstances, the law usually designates the incapacitated person’s next of kin as the decision maker. Having a power of attorney, unmarried couples can give their partners the ability to make such conclusions.
Powers of attorney can be as specific or general as you decide. You can give your spouse the ability to make decisions on your behalf at any time or just once you become incapacitated. You may also dictate what sorts of decisions you’re authorizing your agent to make. A healthcare power of attorney (also called a durable power of attorney for healthcare, medical power of attorney, health care proxy and appointment of health care representative of surrogate) would authorize your spouse (or other agent) to make decisions about your health care treatment and dictate who you want to be able to see you while getting medical treatment.
By executing a power of attorney for finances (also called a durable power of attorney for finances) you can dictate whom you would like to make decisions about your financial and legal issues. You can be quite specific about what activities you are authorizing your spouse (or other representative ) to create, such as which account he or she has access to and the kinds of decisions they can make.