A Power of Attorney permits someone whom you choose to take actions or to do something on your behalf with the same legal effect as if you personally took those actions. Granting a Power of Attorney is a very significant action which should not be taken without becoming fully aware of its potential consequences.
However, it is something which most individuals should have; because if you are unable to personally act, it permits your Agent (the person whom you have named to act for you in your Power of Attorney document) to act for you.
Your Agent can act for you because you are out of town, suffering from the flu or temporarily or permanently disabled. A Power of Attorney may grant very broad and general powers; or alternatively may grant very specific and limited powers. The specific acts which your Agent may take are specified in your Power of Attorney document.
Most Power of Attorney documents contain a specific provision which allows your Agent the continued ability to act on your behalf even after you have become incompetent.
Power of Attorney documents are often extremely circumstance specific. Attorney Nagurney advises and counsels his clients concerning the drafting and execution of their Power of Attorney documents.