The Power of Attorney can be a powerful tool or a dangerous weapon that can be turned against its creator. We often assume that when we create a Power of Attorney, we are ensuring that the person we name can do only what we want them to do. We also assume they can do it as easily as we can. Finally, we may assume that a Power of Attorney avoids the need for conservatorship or guardianship when we become incapacitated.
In fact, a Power of Attorney is both more powerful and less powerful than we need. Basic Powers of Attorney often do not include the provisions we need to plan for nursing home care. If the Power of Attorney does not specifically authorize an action – like picking up mail or signing required form Powers of Attorney at banks and investment companies – then that action is not authorized.