Home Blog What Is A Durable Power of Attorney (All You Need To Know)

What Is A Durable Power of Attorney (All You Need To Know)

What is Durable Power of Attorney?

How does a durable power of attorney work?

What’s important to know?

Keep reading as we have gathered exactly the information that you need!

Let me explain to you what is a durable power of attorney once and for all!

Are you ready?

Let’s get started!

Durable Power of Attorney Overview

Power of attorney refers to a legal document under which you authorize a person to manage your affairs and make decisions on your behalf on certain matters; i.e., finance, health care, business affairs, etc. 

The power of attorney can be either a durable power of attorney or a non-durable power of attorney.

Keep reading as I will tell you all you know to know about a “durable power of attorney”.

But first, let’s define the meaning of a durable power of attorney.

What Is Durable Power of Attorney

A durable power of attorney is a legal document that is legally binding from the moment it is granted until the principal dies or the principal revokes it. 

What’s important is that a power of attorney remains in effect even when the principal becomes incapacitated, such as due to illness or an accident. 

In other words, if you signed a durable power of attorney and then become incapacitated due to illness or an accident, then the designated attorney can manage your affairs and make decisions on your behalf as per the terms of the power of attorney given.

According to the Legal Information Institute, a durable power of attorney is defined as follows:

A durable power of attorney refers to a power of attorney which typically remains in effect until the death of the principal or until the document is revoked. A durable power of attorney, the durability of which must be explicitly stated, remains valid even in the event the principal is unable to make personal decisions due to incapacity.
Author

As you can see, the durable power of attorney is a type of power of attorney that remains in effect from the moment it is granted until the death of the principal or revocation of the document.

This means that when a person becomes incapacitated (but does not die), the durable power of attorney will continue to remain in full force and effect.

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Why Do You Need A Durable Power of Attorney

Having a durable power of attorney is a great way to plan for the unexpected.

We don’t know what life has in store for us but we can prepare in case something were to happen.

If you want to ensure that your finances remain in order or define the type of medical treatment that you’d want if you’re unable to decide for yourself, then you’ll need a durable power of attorney.

A “durable” power of attorney is one that takes effect the moment you grant it and will remain in effect even if you become incapacitated.

Here are some common reasons why people consider creating a durable power of attorney:

  • To be prepared if they were to become incapacitated 
  • To make sure that someone they trust will be in control of their healthcare and finances 
  • To prepare for major medical procedures 
  • To prepare for degenerative diseases 

Durable Power of Attorney vs General Power of Attorney

What is the difference between a durable power of attorney and general power of attorney?

A general power of attorney is a type of power of attorney that ends the moment you become incapacitated.

On the other hand, a durable power of attorney will have stipulations where the designated power of attorney will continue to act as an attorney even when the principal becomes incapacitated.

In essence, a durable power of attorney will remain in effect until the principal revokes the power of attorney or dies.

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Types of Durable Power of Attorneys

There are different types of durable power of attorneys suitable for different types of situations.

Let’s look at the most common types of durable power of attorney. 

Durable Medical Power of Attorney

A durable medical power of attorney, known as durable health care power of attorney, is a legal document in which you authorize a person to make medical and healthcare decisions on your behalf. 

The person that you choose to make health care decisions for you is called your agent.

The durable medical power of attorney will remain in effect if you cannot make a decision about your health care. 

Health care matters are sensitive, so people usually sign the durable power of attorney with their close friends or family, spouse, domestic partner, or adult child.

Others can also be appointed such as a court-appointed guardian or conservator, adult sibling, a close friend, or nearest living relative.

Durable Financial Power of Attorney

Durable financial power of attorney is a legal document under which you authorize a person to make decisions about your financial affairs. 

In essence, your agent will have the ability to oversee your finances while you are unable to act for yourself.

The person you can appoint can be a family member or a friend.

It can also be a financial professional acting on your behalf.

How To Make A Durable Power of Attorney

Generally, setting up a durable power of attorney is not very complex although you must follow your state laws.

The steps involved in setting up a durable power of attorney consist of the following:

  1. Decide who will be your designated agent
  2. Determine the authority you will want to give your agent
  3. Sign the power of attorney forms
  4. Make sure the power of attorney forms are either signed by a notary public or witness as per your state laws
  5. Have at least two copies of the durable power of attorney signed so you keep one for yourself
  6. Give a copy of your durable power of attorney to your agent so he or she can use it when necessary 

Durable Medical Power of Attorney

Every jurisdiction will define its rules governing the durable medical power of attorneys.

In some jurisdictions, it’s a matter of completing a form while in other jurisdictions, the creation of power of attorney must follow specific rules.

For instance, in some jurisdictions, the medical power of attorney must be signed before a notary public.

In some states, the presence of a witness will also be required.

Before signing a durable medical power of attorney, you must check your state laws and then continue accordingly.

Durable Financial Power of Attorney

A financial power of attorney will become effective from the moment it is validly signed by the principal.

The rules governing financial power of attorneys differ in every jurisdiction, so it’s important that you follow the required steps to ensure the power of attorney becomes legally valid.

In some situations, you may be able to sign a power of attorney yourself, while in other situations, it may require the document to be notarized or signed by a witness.

Recommended article:

Durable Power of Attorney FAQs

What is a durable power of attorney?

A durable power of attorney is a document that lets you appoint someone to make financial or healthcare decisions for you in case you can’t make the decision yourself.

The person that you appoint, your agent, will have the right to make decisions in accordance with the terms of the power of attorney.

What rights does a durable power of attorney have?

The rights that you grant in a durable power of attorney will depend on what you are comfortable with.

For example, a financial durable attorney can be given to someone to manage all your financial affairs, perhaps a specific transaction, or even matters below a certain threshold.

A durable medical power of attorney can be given where the agent can make all decisions for you or carry out your specific desires.

Does durable power of attorney cover medical decisions?

Yes, a durable power of attorney for healthcare can cover medical decisions, emergency medical decisions, treatments, and other related decisions.

You can instruct your agent about specific medical treatments that you may want or have the agent make the decision for you.

How does a durable power of attorney work?

A durable power of attorney is a legal document that is granted by a person (the principal) giving the rights to another person (the agent) to make decisions on the principal’s behalf.

The durable power of attorney is “durable” as it will remain in effect even if the principal becomes incapacitated whereas a general power of attorney will terminate.

Most durable power of attorneys target either financial decisions or medical decisions and where the principal authorizes the agent to make the best decisions in the interest of the principal.

Takeaways 

So there you have it folks!

What is a durable power of attorney?

A durable power of attorney is a type of power of attorney that remains in effect the moment it is granted and will remain intact even if you become incapacitated.

Durable power of attorneys are useful when someone is appointed to make emergency medical decisions for you or take care of your finances when you’re unable to handle them yourself.

A durable healthcare power of attorney is one where another person is appointed to make medical and health-related decisions for you whereas a durable financial power of attorney is one where the agent makes financial decisions for you.

It’s important that you consider your local laws when granting a power of attorney to ensure that they are validly issued.

If you have any questions or need advice for a particular situation, be sure to consult a qualified attorney.

Now that you know what is a durable power of attorney and how it works, good luck with your research!

Springing power of attorney 
Healthcare power of attorney
Financial power of attorney 
General power of attorney
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Editorial Staffhttps://lawyer.zone
Hello Nation! I'm a lawyer and passionate about law. I've practiced law in a boutique law firm, worked in a multi-national organization and as in-house counsel. I've been around the block! On this blog, I provide you with golden nuggets of information about lawyers, attorneys, the law and legal theories. Enjoy!

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