Imagine a board game player telling a friend ‘roll for me, but don’t sell anything’. Would the friend continue to roll when the player returned? Probably not. In game terms, they were granting a limited, temporary power to act on their behalf. These two concepts – range of action and effective period – also apply to legal power-of-attorney arrangements. Limiting the range of action — ‘roll but don’t play’ in the game, or ‘healthcare but not financial decisions’ in the legal system, creates limited or ‘special’ power of attorney. An agent granted the right to make any personal or business decision, by contrast, has general power of attorney – it’s like saying ‘roll, play, sell properties, or anything else’ in a game. Here a few common types of power of attorney: Temporary periods of authorization are called temporary power of attorney. Common power of attorney authorizes the agent until the grantor is incapacitated. Durable power lasts beyond incapacitation — ‘play my turn even if I can’t come back’ — while ‘springing’ power of attorney starts with incapacitation — ‘play my piece if I can’t come back.’ Power of attorney can have great impact, and legal advice may be required.
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