What does “power of attorney” mean?

For residents of the San Jose area who are beginning to explore their best options for estate planning, there can be many terms or phrases that deserve a bit more research. After all, there are plenty of different “legalese” terms that some people may have never even seen before they started to consider their estate plan. “Power of attorney” might be one of them.

So, what does “power of attorney” mean? Well, in the context of an estate plan, power of attorney means that you give power to another person to make decisions on your behalf. Most commonly, there are two types of power of attorney documents that estate planners will execute: one for finances and one for healthcare.

For a financial power of attorney, the person you select is then empowered to take such actions on your behalf as selling assets, managing bank or retirement accounts, making loan payments – whatever you give them the power to manage in regards to your finances. It is similar for healthcare power of attorney, in which another person is designated to make healthcare decisions on your behalf for things like medical procedures, medications, surgeries – all, of course, if you become unable to express your wishes yourself.

Comprehensive estate plans

When San Jose residents are considering their estate planning needs, they will surely come quick to the determination that power of attorney documents are necessary components of a comprehensive plan. But, each person’s needs, family dynamics and finances are different, so our readers should be sure to do their research to find the options that are best for their own unique circumstances.