If you are like many older residents in Florida and moved to the state to retire, you may be thinking of creating a will and granting a trusted relative power of attorney. This can be a difficult choice, as the person named will likely be able to make decisions on your behalf if you should become extremely ill, injured or otherwise infirm. There are several different types of power of attorney, and knowing how they differ may make decisions related to your will easier to make.

Investopedia defines power of attorney as, “a legal document giving one person (the agent or attorney-in-fact) the power to act for another person (the principal).” However, your circumstances may require a certain type of POA and these can include:

  • Health care
  • Durable

Each type has varied duties and rights that are given to the agent. For example, an agent who has health care POA may hire caregivers for you, buy or modify insurance policies and see that your final wishes, such as a do not resuscitate order, are followed. You may want to put a durable POA in place if you are concerned about becoming mentally incompetent, such as if you begin to suffer from Alzheimer’s Disease. This type of agreement does not give power to the agent until such time as a medical professional declares you unable to make sound decisions. You may want to list a doctor you trust in the document for greater peace of mind.