A Power of Attorney (POA) is a legal agreement that grants an agent the authority to act in the place of a principal in matters of finances and property (American Law Institute 2006). Under a POA instrument, a principal authorizes an agent to perform a particular set of duties for the principal’s benefit. A POA agent (historically referred to as an “attorney-in-fact”) must act according to the terms and specifications set forth in the POA record (Garner 2019a).
A POA should be distinguished from a “Healthcare Power of Attorney,” which is typically a separate and distinct legal instrument that grants an agent the specific authority to make decisions about the principal’s healthcare and medical treatment (Nicolaidis et al. 2016).
Principles of a Power of Attorney
A POA can be a useful special needs planning tool for individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and their caregivers (Sharpe and Baker 2007). Establishing a POA can be beneficial in a variety of contexts,...
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References and Reading
3 Am. Jur. 2d § 20 Powers of attorney: In general (2020).
American Bar Association. (2020). Estate planning info & FAQs: Power of Attorney. Retrieved from https://www.americanbar.org/groups/real_property_trust_estate/resources/estate_planning/power_of_attorney/
American Law Institute. (2006). Restatement (third) of agency. Terminology § 1.04(7).
Andersen, R., & Gary, S. (2018). Understanding trusts and estates (6th ed.). Durham: Carolina Academic Press.
Dudley, K., & Edmonds, N. (2018). Psychology’s role in guardianship and conservatorship evaluations. In S. S. Bush & A. L. Heck (Eds.), Forensic geropsychology: Practice essentials (pp. 257–279). American Psychological Association. https://doi.org/10.1037/0000082-013.
Furrow, B. R., Greaney, T. L., Johnson, S. H., & Stoltzfus Jost, T. (2018). Health law: Cases, materials and problems (8th ed.). St. Paul, MN: West Academic Publishing.
Garner, B. (Ed.). (2019a). Power of attorney. Black’s law dictionary (11th ed.). St. Paul: Thomson/West.
Garner, B. (Ed.). (2019b). Incapacity. Black’s law dictionary (11th ed.). St. Paul: Thomson/West.
Ho, L., & Lee, R. (Eds.). (2019). Special needs financial planning: A comparative perspective. Cambridge, UK/New York: Cambridge University Press.
In re Grubin, 476 B.R. 699, 707 (Bankr. E.D.N.Y. 2012).
Kohn, N., Blumenthal, J., & Campbell, A. (2013). Supported decision-making: A viable alternative to guardianship. Penn State Law Review, 117(4), 1111. Retrieved from http://www.pennstatelawreview.org/117/4%20Final/4-Kohn%20et%20al.%20(final)%20(rev2).pdf.
National Council on Disability. (2018). Beyond guardianship: toward alternatives that promote greater self-determination. 145–152. Retrieved from https://ncd.gov/publications/2018/beyond-guardianship-toward-alternatives
National Council on Disability. (2019). Turning rights into reality: How guardianship and alternatives impact the autonomy of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Retrieved from https://ncd.gov/publications/2019/turning-rights-into-reality
Nicolaidis, C., et al. (2016). The development and evaluation of an online healthcare toolkit for autistic adults and their primary care providers. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 31(10), 1180–1189. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11606-016-3763-6.
Parker, M. (2016). Getting the balance right: Conceptual considerations concerning legal capacity and supported decision-making. Journal of Bioethical Inquiry, 13(3), 381–393. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11673-016-9727-z.
Requirements for filing power of attorney, 26 C.F.R. § 601.504 (2020).
Sharpe, D. L., & Baker, D. L. (2007). Financial issues associated with having a child with autism. Journal of Family and Economic Issues, 28(2), 247–264. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10834-007-9059-6.
Sitkoff, R. H., & Dukeminier, J. (2017). Wills, trusts, and estates. New York, NY: Wolters Kluwer Law & Business.
U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. (2015). Managing someone else’s money: Help for agents under a power of attorney. Retrieved from https://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/201310_cfpb_lay_fiduciary_guides_agents.pdf
U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. (2016). What is a Power of Attorney (POA). Retrieved from https://www.consumerfinance.gov/ask-cfpb/what-is-a-power-of-attorney-poa-en-1149/
U.S. General Accounting Office. (2004). Guardianships: collaboration needed to protect incapacitated elderly people. GAO-04-655. Retrieved from https://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-04-655
U.S. Government Services and Information. (2020). Family legal issues: Power of attorney. Retrieved from https://www.usa.gov/family-legal#item-213778
Uniform Law Commission. (2006). Uniform Power of Attorney Act. Retrieved from https://www.uniformlaws.org/committees/community-home?CommunityKey=b1975254-8370-4a7c-947f-e5af0d6cb07c
Zaubler v. Picone, 100 A.D.2d 620, 473 N.Y.S.2d 580 (N.Y. App. Div. 1984).
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Kelly, A.M., Marsack-Topolewski, C.N. (2020). Power of Attorney (Financial and Property Management). In: Volkmar, F. (eds) Encyclopedia of Autism Spectrum Disorders. Springer, New York, NY. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-6435-8_102521-1
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