A power of attorney (POA) grants someone else (the “agent”) the ability to make decisions for you.
It is a legal document that sets out the conditions in which that person will make decisions, including whether they will have that ability right away or there will be a delay when it is effective. The delay is generally the result of a condition that you lose your mental or physical capacity.
Depending on the type of power of attorney, the decisions that a power of attorney can address may apply to your property, health, and a variety of other important matters that affect you or your finances. In Montana, it is also referred to as a statutory form power of attorney.
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Montana Durable Power of Attorney (General)
A durable power of attorney means that a power of attorney will still apply even if you can no longer make decisions on your own behalf. The most common reason that this would occur is because of an illness or an accident where you are severely injured.
In Montana, your agent can make most decisions on your behalf, but there are some specific powers that you must reference explicitly in the POA to allow your agent to take that type of action.
In Montana, every power of attorney document is durable unless the document specifically states that a power of attorney will be terminated if you become incapacitated.
Montana Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care
A durable power of attorney for healthcare and medical treatment designates another person to act on your behalf as it relates to health care decisions, including deciding treatment and signing documents for you. This person is also specifically allowed to be your representative under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
Your agent in a health care power of attorney will be able to:
- Refuse, agree to, or withdraw consent to treatment, medical care, testing, and medications
- Access your medical records and related information
- Admit or discharge you from the hospital or another health care facility
- Decide about body, organ, and tissue donations
- Hire and fire medical and support personnel, as needed
It is important that this type of power of attorney is durable because it will usually only apply if you become incapacitated and cannot make your own decisions regarding your healthcare.
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Montana Financial Power of Attorney
A financial power of attorney in Montana is limited to only financial aspects of your life, such as buying and selling investments or real estate. You can specifically set out which areas you would like this type of POA to address.
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