What is a Durable Power of Attorney?

What is a Durable Power of Attorney: A durable power of attorney is an instrument through which an individual or organization, known as the principal, designates another person or entity, known as the agent, to act on their behalf if they become incapacitated and no longer capable of making their own decisions. For this reason, it’s also sometimes referred to as an enduring power of attorney. In some cases, the document can be made durable so that it remains valid even if the principal becomes incapacitated after signing it and before naming his or her agent in it.

How Do I Name the Person Who Will Handle My Finances

A durable power of attorney for finances allows you to name someone else (i.e., an agent) to manage your finances if you can no longer do so yourself, either because you’re unable to manage them or because you’re not around anymore. Like any type of legal document, there are formal steps that must be taken for your power of attorney document to hold up in court. All states have specific rules governing these documents and naming agents, but they generally operate along similar lines. Consult with an attorney before writing or signing one so that your rights are protected and all paperwork is filed correctly.

All About DPOAs

A durable power of attorney (DPOA) is a document that lets you choose an agent—called an attorney-in-fact—to make financial and medical decisions for you if you become incapacitated or otherwise unable to make those decisions on your own. This can be helpful in situations where someone may not have time to draft advance directives, like after a car accident or other sudden-onset trauma. Unlike a will, which deals with property and assets, a DPOA only handles finances and health care. Both documents don’t need to be drafted together because they cover completely different matters.

Choosing an Agent for My Enduring Power of Attorney

The person you name in your power of attorney will be able to act on your behalf regarding legal, financial, and health matters. In addition to having trust in your agent, you should also have confidence that they can handle these responsibilities; otherwise, they won’t be helpful if you’re incapacitated or otherwise unable to take care of things yourself. If your agent has an urgent question about what you want them to do regarding one of these areas, they must be able to get in touch with you—even if they have to track down next-of-kin or resort to consulting other resources.

How do I make sure my Durable Power of Attorney goes into effect?

When you draft your power of attorney, state that it is to go into effect if you become incapacitated. To do so, put something like This power of attorney becomes effective upon my incapacity in your power of attorney document. You can also give instructions for how long it should remain effective by indicating an end date (for example, you can state that it will be valid for one year). Otherwise, your durable power of attorney document remains in effect until it’s revoked or terminated—you don’t have to do anything special on an ongoing basis.

Frequently Asked Questions About DPOAs

Commonly referred to as an agent, someone you appoint to handle your affairs should you be unable to do so can make life easier for those you leave behind. The agent typically acts under a durable power of attorney, or DPOA. But what exactly is that and how does it work? Let’s look at some frequently asked questions about DPOAs and get acquainted with their duties and qualifications.

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