A Power of Attorney allows another person to act for you in handling your finances and business matters.  A Power of Attorney is effective during a person’s lifetime, and ends upon that person’s death, at which point an estate is opened. Most people wish to have their Power of Attorney be “durable”, that is, it is valid even if after a person becomes disabled and can no longer effectively communicate their wishes.

A similar document, a Medical Power of Attorney, can be prepared to name someone of your choosing to make medical decisions for you in the event that you cannot make them for yourself.  A well written Power of Attorney can be a very powerful document so that it will not be necessary for the court to appoint a guardian to handle your finances or to make decisions about your medical care.