Whenever someone wishes to grant someone else a power of attorney (POA), they have to meet certain requirements set out under the law. The POA must be in writing, and it must designate a person in name who is to act as the agent, also known as the attorney-in-fact. The person granted the POA doesn't have to be an actual attorney, and the title attorney-in-fact does not grant the person the right to practice law.
In general, power of attorney (POA) terminates as soon as the person granting the power (generally called the principal) dies or becomes incapacitated. If the POA is to continue after that, it must be made durable. Durable POA can be made specifically to address the principal's concerns of having someone make decisions on her behalf if she becomes ill or dies.
Unless the power of attorney document states otherwise, any POA granted in Oregon becomes effective immediately upon signing by the principal. In some instances, the POA can take effect at a later date and time. These are generally referred to as springing POA. The principal can designate whatever circumstances or time he chooses for the POA to take effect.
Limited and General
POA can be differentiated by the kinds of decisions the agent may make. In general, an agent can be granted the right to make all legally permissible decisions on behalf of the principal. This is called general POA. When the POA falls short of this broad granting of decision-making rights, the POA is referred to as limited. The kinds of limitations imposed on a POA can be many, and the principal has the right to determine the limitations imposed. Some common restrictions may allows the agent to act on only financial matters, or when dealing with a medical condition, or when dealing with distribution of property after the principal's death.
Durable POA for Health Care
Oregon law allows for people to designate a durable POA for health-care reasons. Sometimes used in conjunction with an advanced directive or living will, the durable POA for health care must be in the form of that listed in the statute. It sets out the terms of the POA, and allows the agent to make decisions regarding the life-sustaining decisions regarding the principal's health. This includes the ability to decide about medication, procedures or life-sustaining actions.
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