Power of AttorneyPower of attorney or letter of attorney is one type of an advance medical directive. Individuals may draft legal documents providing power of attorney to others in the case of becoming incapacitated by illness, injury, or old age. The durable power of attorney authorizes someone else to act on a patient’s behalf as his or her own agent. This allows the individual or agent to make bank transactions, sign Social Security checks, apply for disability, or simply write checks to pay the utility bill while you are medically incapacitated.
A power of attorney may be "special" or "limited" to one specified act or type of act, or it may be more "general" in scope. Many standardized forms are available (usually for free) for various kinds of powers of attorney, and many organizations provide them for their clients, customers, patients, employees, or members.