When an individual or a group of individuals are granted power of attorney, they are given the authority to manage an individual's affairs. In some cases, the power is limited to a certain action or set of actions. For instance, another person may be granted the ability to oversee the closing of a real estate transaction. In other cases, a broad authority may be granted to manage an individual's affairs.
Those who are granted power of attorney may be granted such powers either on a temporary basis or permanently. Such power can be revoked as long as the person granted such power is notified in writing. Depending on how the power of attorney is granted, it may not take effect until or unless an individual is mentally incapacitated. This is referred to as a springing power of attorney.
A power of attorney is usually granted to another person for reasons of convenience as well as for greater control over assets. If an individual becomes mentally incapacitated, a guardian may be appointed to help oversee that person's assets. By granting power of attorney to someone else ahead of time, that person will see to it that assets are managed according to the grantor's wishes.
Those who are considering how to manage their assets may wish to talk to an estate planning attorney. An attorney may be able to draft power of attorney documents and other relevant estate planning documents. He or she may also be able to provide advice as to how to create an estate plan that meets an individual's needs now and in the future. Anyone who has an existing estate plan may wish to review that plan periodically to ensure that it still meets their needs.