What Is A Durable Power Of Attorney?

A durable power of attorney is a legal instrument that gives someone else the authority to make decisions for you if you are incapable of doing so.

A power of attorney can enable an agent to make personal, health, financial, and property decisions on your behalf. A durable power of attorney also extends to authorizing the agent to manage difficult or time-consuming tasks such as applying for government benefits, paying bills, and handling other paperwork. A durable power of attorney can be verbal or written. The laws of each state will set forth the requirements for a valid durable power of attorney. In general, the required form should be in writing, signed by you, and witnessed by two people.

A durable power of attorney authorizes an agent to act on your behalf when you are unable to make decisions for yourself. A power of attorney is not effective until you are incapacitated. If you are incapacitated and have a valid durable power of attorney, the agent can manage your financial affairs and take action to protect your property.

What Are the Types of Durable Power of Attorney?

A durable power of attorney is similar to a living will, it allows you to name someone to make the final decisions about healthcare and Financial. However, a living will does not act as an authentic durable power of attorney because it does not give your agent the authority to act if you are unable to make any decisions at all. A Durable Power of Attorney is a written power of attorney, which gives someone else the authority to act on your behalf in your situation. Learn more about durable power of attorney from this law firm’s blog post.


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Healthcare Durable Power of Attorney: 

This is a power of attorney that gives someone the legal authority to make healthcare decisions on your behalf. You may name a relative or close friend as your agent. If you lack the capacity to make healthcare decisions, then your agent can act on your behalf to make them for you. A power of attorney permits your agent to authorize medical treatment, such as surgery or medications, for you. This action is known as “health care” and is typically confined to physicians, hospitals, and other healthcare providers. However, if you are incapable of making a healthcare decision but have a durable power of attorney in place, your agent can authorize medical treatment for you even if you are not able to do so.

Financial Durable Power of Attorney:

This is the most common type of durable power of attorney. A durable financial power of attorney gives someone else the legal authority to manage your financial affairs in the event that you become incapacitated. You can name a relative or close friend as your agent to make financial decisions for you. A power of attorney permits your agent to collect your assets, pay your bills and manage your bank accounts. If you are unable to make financial decisions on your own but have a durable power of attorney in place, then the agent can manage your finances for you even if you are not able to do so.

What Are Reasons To Establish a Durable Power of Attorney?

Many people create a durable power of attorney to give someone else the authority to manage their financial affairs and make personal decisions on their behalf. A durable power of attorney gives you peace of mind that your financial and personal needs are being met if you are unable to make those decisions for yourself. It is also necessary if you want another person to handle your finances in case you become incapacitated. Without a durable power of attorney, a court must appoint someone to manage your financial affairs and care for your personal needs.

How Do You Select a Durable Power of Attorney Agent?



If you want to appoint someone to be your durable power of attorney agent, then you must meet a few requirements and provide certain information while selecting the person. Your power of attorney agent should have the authority to make important decisions in a time of crisis. This can be a relative, friend, or advisor you trust. A power of attorney must have his or her personal address and phone number included in the document so that the agent can reach the person immediately in an emergency. While creating a durable power of attorney, you must be sure to include a power of attorney in a durable form. 

How Do You Establish a Durable Power of Attorney?

Your durable power of attorney may be oral or written, but it should be clear and concise. It is important to define the scope of authority granted in the document as well as what kind of decisions will fall within that scope. The document should contain an acknowledgment that the signer understands that he or she will be acting in place of you if you are incapable of making decisions for yourself. In many cases, a witness must sign the document, and the witness may be required to acknowledge understanding the terms in writing. As with non-durable powers of attorney, a durable power of attorney must be signed in front of two witnesses.

Conclusion:

It is often helpful to have a durable power of attorney while you are still mentally competent because then you can appoint someone you trust to handle your financial and personal affairs. Although it may be difficult to find the right person for the job, a durable power of attorney will come in handy if you are incapacitated and unable to make decisions for yourself. When creating an account with a bank or other financial institution, it is always wise to ask whether a durable power of attorney has been provided.

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"Dr. Harry Delany is a renowned Harlem born and raised surgeon, the son of the great jurist and civil rights leader, Hubert Delany...." This monthly post is made in partnership with Harlem Cultural Archives.

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