What is a Power of Attorney?

A power of attorney is a document that allows you to appoint a person or organization to handle your affairs while you're unavailable or unable to do so. The person or organization you appoint is referred to as an "Attorney-in-Fact" or "Agent."





Types of Power of Attorney

A power of attorney may be: special (also called limited), general, or temporarily limited. A special power of attorney is one that is limited to a specified act or type of act. A general power of attorney is one that allows the agent to make all personal and business decisions. A temporarily limited power of attorney is one with a limited time frame.

Power of Attorney Type Description
Durable power of attorney Under the common law, a power of attorney becomes ineffective if its grantor dies or becomes "incapacitated," meaning unable to grant such a power, because of physical injury or mental illness, for example, unless the grantor (or principal) specifies that the power of attorney will continue to be effective even if the grantor becomes incapacitated. This type of power of attorney is called "power of attorney with durable provisions" in the United States or "enduring power of attorney" elsewhere. In effect, under a durable power of attorney (DPA), the authority of the attorney-in-fact to act and/or make decisions on behalf of the grantor continues until the grantor's death.
Health Care Power of Attorney In some jurisdictions, a durable power of attorney can also be a "health care power of attorney." This particular affidavit gives the attorney-in-fact the authority to make health-care decisions for the grantor, up to and including terminating care and life support. The grantor can typically modify or restrict the powers of the agent to make end-of-life decisions. In many jurisdictions a health care power of attorney is also referred to as a "health care proxy" and, as such, the two terms are sometimes used interchangeably.
Relationship with advance health care directive Related to the health care power of attorney is a separate document known as an advance health care directive, also called a "living will". A living will is a written statement of a person's health care and medical wishes but does not appoint another person to make health care decisions. Depending upon the jurisdiction, a health care power of attorney may or may not appear with an advance health care directive in a single, physical document. For example, the California legislature has adopted a standard power of attorney for health care and advance health care directive form that meets all the legal wording requirements for a power of attorney and advance health care directive in California.[12] Compare this to New York State, which enacted a Health Care Proxy law that requires a separate document be prepared appointing one as your health care agent. Advance health care directives that are legal in all states are increasingly available online, including the MyDirectives advance health care directive in the United States.
Long-Term Care (LTC) Medicaid Applicants must be at least 65 years of age, blind or disabled.
Applicants must be US Citizens and residents of North Carolina.
Applicants must have a medically documented need for the level of care provided in a nursing home or intermediate care facility. Income lower than monthly cost of care. Applicants countable financial assets, which exclude a home and primary vehicle, cannot be more than $2,000.