A power of attorney is a document that allows you to appoint a person or organization to make certain decisions on your behalf if you become unable or unavailable to do so. Usually, this person is a friend or relative. The individual does not have to be a lawyer, which is sometimes a common misconception since it is called power of attorney. The person who creates this document is referred to as the “principal.”
Executing a power of attorney does not mean that you are no longer in charge of any decision making—it simply means that the appointed individual can act for you in your behalf. For example, if you became hospitalized for a short period of time and needed someone to handle your financial duties, the attorney-in-fact or agent can do so. As long as you are capable of making decisions, the appointed individual must follow your instructions. You are simply sharing your power with another individual, the power of attorney. You can take away the individual’s power at any time if you become dissatisfied with their actions.