A general power of attorney gives another person the power to transact financial business for you if you are incapacitated. It avoids the need for a conservatorship. Incapacity is determined by provisions in the power of attorney.
The person granted the power of attorney is known as the agent or attorney in fact.
A power of attorney is valid only so long as the person granting the power is alive. The power of attorney can easily be revoked by destroying the original document.
Usually a power of attorney is given to a spouse, or a person's child or sibling. It is a very powerful instrument and should only be given to a person who is trusted.
A health care power of attorney is a grant to another person of the power to make certain health care decisions when the person granting the power is temporarily unable to do so. It is to be used in situations other than end of life health conditions.