A general durable power of attorney both authorizes someone to act in a wide range of legal and business matters and remains in effect even if you are incapacitated. This type of document is also known as a durable power of attorney for finances. The power of attorney can take effect immediately or can become effective only if you are incapacitated.
If a power of attorney is durable, it remains in effect if you become incapacitated, such as due to illness or an accident. Durable powers of attorney help you plan for medical emergencies and declines in mental functioning and can ensure that your finances are taken care of. Having these documents in place helps eliminate confusion and uncertainty when family members have to make tough medical decisions.
An ordinary power of attorney expires if you become mentally incompetent, while a durable power of attorney includes special wording that makes it effective even if that happens. The purpose of a durable POA is to plan for medical emergencies, cognitive decline later in life, or other situations where you’re no longer capable of making decisions.
The person you appoint is known as your agent, or attorney-in-fact, although the individual or company doesn’t have to be a lawyer. An attorney-in-fact can handle many types of transactions.
Click the state for which you are interested in a free printable Durable Power of Attorney form.