Most people want a Power of Attorney (“POA”) that allows their designee to handle their financial and medical/health care needs. To accomplish this goal, your POA’s must allow the designee to have access to your medical information and banking/financial business.

A Financial POA authorizes most aspects of financial management on your behalf. Your designee may handle all of your banking transactions, including check writing and accessing safety deposit boxes. Your POA designee cannot change your will, but some states allow them to amend or create trusts and to transfer your assets to trusts. Your Financial POA agent may buy and sell property, make decisions about stocks or other securities, purchase insurance, manage your government benefits, file your tax returns and hire professionals to assist with those responsibilities.

A Medical POA sets out your wishes for medical decisions made on your behalf. The Medical POA designee, also called a health care proxy or health care surrogate, is legally required to honor your known wishes. Some people add a living will, which details end of life health care wishes, with a durable Medical POA in a single document called an advance health care directive.