“Power of attorney” is a formal legal arrangement in which one person, the “principal,” gives another person, the “agent,” permission to make legal decisions on their behalf.
Since South Carolina’s power of attorney can apply to so many different situations, different types are designed to oversee various aspects of the principal’s life and business. These types are general power of attorney, durable power of attorney, limited power of attorney, medical power of attorney, and minor power of attorney.
South Carolina General Power of Attorney
With general PoA, the principal gives the agent the authority to act on their behalf in a wide range of monetary, legal, and personal affairs. Examples of the sorts of matters the agent might tend to include:
- Managing bank accounts
- Entering and negotiating contracts
- Paying bills
- Buying and selling property
- Authorizing business transactions
South Carolina Durable Power of Attorney
Durable power of attorney is a disaster-proof form of PoA that provides a contingency for the worst-case scenario—it continues even if the principal becomes incapacitated or passes away unexpectedly.
Durable power of attorney is intended to safeguard the principal’s interests when they’re unable to do so themselves. As such, it can only be withdrawn with the inclusion of a clause explicitly stating the specific conditions under which it is to be revoked.
South Carolina Limited Power of Attorney
Limited power of attorney narrows the scope of the agent’s authority to a particular timeframe or set of circumstances. For example, they might only be allowed to sell the principal’s prized stamp collection or look after a piece of the principal’s property while they’re out of the country.
South Carolina Medical Power of Attorney
As its name suggests, medical power of attorney has to do solely with decisions that concern the principal’s health.
The most famous example is whether or not to remove an unresponsive principal from life support. However, medical PoA often comes with a host of other less dramatic but no less important duties.
South Carolina Minor (Child) Power of Attorney
Minor power of attorney grants the agent full or partial guardianship over the principal’s offspring if something happens to the latter.
The agent is then responsible for making significant decisions related to the children’s care, like who they should live with, where to send them to school, and what pediatrician to take them to.
PoA can be a confusing area of law to navigate. Here are answers to a few of the most commonly-asked questions on the subject.