What does power of attorney mean? A power of attorney designates an agent who is allowed to act on your behalf, either out of convenience or out of necessity, in the event of lifetime incapacity. The power granted under a power of attorney is valid only during the course of an individual’s lifetime.
Powers of attorney are often used by older clients who want to make sure their adult children or trusted friends can manage their affairs in the future. Without a power of attorney, in the event that an individual becomes incapacitated, it may be necessary to obtain the appointment of a guardian and/or conservator through probate court. Guardianships and conservatorships are public proceedings subject to the delays and costs of any court proceeding. These situations, for obvious reasons, should be avoided if at all possible.