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Learn more about Durable Power of Attorney

Introduction

Creating a Durable Power of Attorney is an important part of a complete estate plan. With it, you'll be selecting a responsible agent to make decisions in the event that you're incapacitated or otherwise incapable of making financial or healthcare decisions. We'll guide you through the process, step-by-step.

Use a Durable Power of Attorney if:

  • You want to authorize someone to act on your behalf in case you become legally incompetent.
  • You want to authorize someone to act on your behalf in case you become incapacitated.

Sample Durable Power of Attorney

More than just a template, our step-by-step interview process makes it easy to create a Durable Power of Attorney

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Other names for a Durable Power of Attorney:

Durable POA, Power of Attorney, Power of Attorney with Durable Provisions, Enduring Power of Attorney

Durable Power of Attorney Basics:

A power of attorney can cover a large variety of events. You can appoint someone to look after your finances, your business, even your medical choices. But no matter what Power of Attorney you choose, you can make it “durable.” Here are few things you should know about this document before you create one.

What “durable” means:

Durable simply means that your Power of Attorney will be valid even in the event you become incapacitated or mentally incompetent. Since many of the choices most people make in a Power of Attorney document concern this exact circumstance, most people choose to make their Power of Attorney durable.

What kinds of Powers of Attorney can be made Durable:

In most states, any type of POA, including a healthcare power of attorney can be made durable. “Durable” is an attribute you give your Power of Attorney form.Think of it as an adjective.

In fact, some people choose to make several different Durable Powers of Attorney. You can create one to deal with your medical decisions and another to take care of your finances.

How a Durable Power of Attorney works:

A durable POA works like any other Power of Attorney. In an estate planning context, you’ll appoint an agent to make certain decisions on your behalf. As mentioned above, you may want to make several Powers of Attorney, each with a different agent.

For example, your brother-in-law might be an accountant and therefore uniquely capable of handling your financial affairs. But you may want to grant your child the ability to make decisions on your behalf if you’re sick.

A Durable Power of Attorney is different from a Springing Power of Attorney:

Although they’re sometimes confused, there’s actually a key difference between these POAs. A springing power of attorney goes into effect only in the event you are incapacitated or mentally incompetent. A durable power of attorney is valid before and after you’ve become incapacitated. Choose the document that’s right for you and, if you have questions, make sure to consult an estate planning attorney.

Other estate planning documents:

If you’re getting your estate plan in order, you'll need a few other documents to cover all your bases. Here are a some important documents to consider:

If you have any questions about what’s right for you and your estate plan, we can connect you with a lawyer for quick answers or a document review. If you'd like to browse more estate planning information, visit our Estate Planning Guide.

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