Frequently Asked Questions – Powers of Attorney

This discussion provides information of a broad general nature only. The information contained in this discussion does not constitute legal or tax advice.


What is a Medical Power of Attorney?

A Medical Power of Attorney (or Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care) designates an agent to make medical decisions if you are unable to make them.

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What is a Statutory Durable Power of Attorney?

A Statutory Durable Power of Attorney (or financial Power of Attorney) designates an agent to make financial decisions and control property on your behalf.  A Power of Attorney gives great financial responsibilities.  For example, if you are in an accident and are in the hospital, your agent could help pay your bills and manage your financial affairs in your absence.  Sometimes a financial Power of Attorney is filed in the County where real estate is located, although this is not necessarily required.  To revoke a Power of Attorney, you generally only need to execute a new Power of Attorney.  You may also need to file a revocation if the original Power of Attorney was filed with a court.

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What is a HIPAA Release Authority?

A HIPAA Release Authority is a document that specifies who may have access to your medical records.  For example, most clients will name the same individuals as in their Medical Power of Attorney so that they may have access to your medical records if they have to make medical decisions on your behalf.

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