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Laws vary somewhat from state to state, but in general, there are two types of Power of Attorney.

1. Durable power of attorney for health care. This gives the person so named authority to cause doctors to turn off life supports, or not; power to accept or refuse treatments, that sort of thing.

2. Power of attorney for financial matters. This gives the person named the right to pay bills on behalf of one who can't; sell the house or car(s) or other valuables, open or close bank or other financial accounts. It usually remains in force for as long as the person giving the Power of Attorney is unable to do it for him/herself. It can be limited to one specific item, for example DH and I once sold a house in Michigan appointin the realtor as POA to sign the papers, receive money and send it to us, because both of us were physically in California at the time. Once the sale was complete, the POA ceased to exist.
If someone in the Service is going to be deployed for an extended time, it may be desiable to have someone else have access to their checking account to keep payments on a car current, for example. That POA also is limited in time and will end when the person returns to where they can handle thosematters for themselves.
In older folks with dementia, it is not expected that they will regain te ability to act for themselves.
POA is to be differentiated from a guardianship. Guardianship is comonly used for people who cannot act for themselves. If the person is a child, it will commonly be a parent. If the person is an elderly person, the guardian is commonly appointed by a court.

Hope this helps,

Best wishes, Chris
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