Powers of Attorney
A power of attorney is a written document in which one person (referred to in the document as the "principal") gives to another person (referred to in the document as the "agent") the authority to act on behalf of the principal in accordance with the terms and conditions set forth in the document.
The powers you delegate may be as limited as the right to sit in for you at a real estate closing, or so broad as to cover everything from banking to organ donation; thus, it is imperative that you name someone trustworthy to act as your agent. And, because this person may be required to shoulder a great deal of responsibility for you, you should name someone who has the time and the willingness to act as your agent.
In general, your power of attorney will be effective the date that you sign it. If you do not want your agent to have immediate power to act upon your behalf, you may wish to consider a "springing" power of attorney; i.e., the power of attorney does not take effect until such time as you become disabled, incapacitated and/or incompetent.