Power of Attorney

A power of attorney is a legal document that gives authority to a person to make any and all decisions for someone else if they are unable to do so themselves.

The person giving the authority is known as the Principal, and the person entrusted make decisions is known as the agent or Attorney-in-Fact.

When principal passes away, the authority granted to the attorney-in-fact usually ends, and responsibility for managing the affairs of the deceased's Estate shifts to an Executor or Administrator.

During the Probate process, these individuals will have the legal authority to pay the deceased's Debts and taxes, and distribute their Assets to Heirs and Beneficiaries.

With respect to Estate Planning, a power of attorney is typically part of an Advance Directive, a series of legal documents that state the type of medical care a person would like to receive, or who they may want to speak on their behalf, if they lack the capacity to do so during a medical emergency.

In this case, it's also known as Medical Power of Attorney.