Comments about various types of POA often come up in our posts here.

It is important to remember that this forum has people from many different countries and various jurisdictions within those countries.

POAs can come into effect immediately or need to be triggered by an event, incapacity due to mental infirmity, or physical injury. Some are for a short term duration, I assigned my cousin POA over my pets when I was out of the country for a period of time. She was not providing care, but was the emergency contact for them. I trusted her implicitly to make the right decision.

A POA can be enacted in a limited capacity in some places. My brother is our father's POA for everything, but only has enacted it to take care of taxes. Dad is competent in other areas of his life.

I work for a Financial Planning firm and all POA documents have to go through our legal department before we can accept instructions from the POA.

My POAs over Mum allows me to place her in a care facility, if she is no longer safe at home. She can kick up a fuss, but I can legally place her, if she is no longer mentally competent. Now someone else's POA over their parent may not have this written into the document or it may not be legal in the jurisdiction

We need to keep this in mind when we give advice. I know I forget at times that different laws apply in different places.

My last comment, please have the documents drawn up by a lawyer in the jurisdiction where it will be used. They will know which laws apply, what a POA can and cannot do.

Where I work, a POA that was not drafted by a lawyer will undergo far greater scrutiny and may not be accepted at all.

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Thanks for bringing up this important info. I would like to add that in certain situations a PoA done online (, is better than nothing. My mom created hers through Legalzoom for a very affordable fee and to date we've had no problems with any institutions accepting her documents. We finalized the docs in the way required by her state (witnesses, notary, original copies for all parties). My husband and I chose to have an attorney create ours and this is what I recommend first, but we don't live in a perfect world so online resources should not be discounted where there aren't any other options to move forward.

Tothill, thanks for the insightful information, as well as the encouragement to rely on an attorney for legal documents.    Those who aren't in a field like yours, or in law or other professions that are aware of legal changes, aren't able to be cognizant of how laws or court rulings can change so easily, and possibly mitigate against the original intention of the parties.

You are so correct. When my brother was incidentally diagnosed with probably early Lewy's Dementia by symptoms he was completely well and able (had been in auto accident and the testing after brought all this out). He wanted to assign me to everything, that I would handle all money, all investments, sales, etc., pay all bills and etc. for him, give him a monthly accounting of what went in and what out. Had a Trust as well so he made me Trustee of Trust and POA for all else. We knew we needed a tamper proof document that spelled everything out completely and went to his attorney to have it done. The attorney spoke with him in private then brought us both out together and said he needed to caution us both one last time that this document gave me all powers to do all things as pertained to him, and that I could now sell the gold out of his teeth. A funny but a good way of putting it.
Other documents may stipulate exactly what the POA is for, when it comes into effect (often dx of two doctors that the person who made the DPOA is now incompetent) and so on.
It is crucial to know that these things vary, that all banks and other entities need specific language, as for the sale of property, etc. Also crucial to know if you are up to it, as my bro was across the state in another town and it often made it difficult to get all things sent to me. I had never done anything like this. The learning curve was steep. It took a year to get it all set up so it ran smoothly, including giving my bro his own account. He said the relief of not having to worry about ANYTHING was profound. He improved and only got mentally more strong during the time I served, but at 85 died of a sepsis after a cellulitis. It certainly made the Trust and the Estate easier to deal with. Important for others to know that your POA and Trustee of REVOCABLE trust ends with death. If you are appointed executor (I was) then that's a whole OTHER trip. I learned a lot, but boy, it was tough.

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