Estate Planning –
What is a Durable Power of Attorney?
One of the most common documents in an estate planning package is the durable power of attorney. This document allows you, the principal, to appoint one or more people, the agent, to undertake any activity that you could do for yourself. This is invaluable in the event you are incapacitated and unable to manage your affairs by yourself.
The word durable means that this document goes into effect as soon as it is signed. The power of attorney used to be a “springing” power of attorney, that only took effect once you were deemed incapacitated. The durable nature of the document allows your agent to easily interact with various people and institutions without jumping through hoops to prove your incapacity. The durable power of attorney does add immediacy to the document, thus the person you name should be someone you find extremely trustworthy.
Most durable powers of appointment allow the agent to interact with all of your financial institutions and insurance carriers, allows the agent to hire and interact with a lawyer on your behalf, pay your taxes, and even buy-sell tangible goods or real property. All of these abilities are crucial if you cannot act on your own behalf either short-term or permanently.
The durable power of attorney ends upon your death, the death of your agent, or if you revoke the document. Otherwise, it is a permanent document that cannot be undone once you are incapacitated.
We can consult on durable powers of attorney during our free consultation. Call or message us on our website to discuss your situation and find out if this document is right for you.