Estate Planning Tools: The Durable Power of Attorney

With everyone dealing with their fast paced lifestyles, iPhones, and all the instant gratification through technology, it is hard for people in the modern era to think about long term scenarios and eventual certainties of life. Illness, injury, incapacity, and death are inevitable. While medical and financial powers of attorney can’t prevent injury or incapacity, they can make life easier for you and your family if the unthinkable becomes a reality.

What is a Durable Power of Attorney?

A Durable Power of Attorney (DPOA) is a written document that allows you to appoint someone to make legal and financial decisions for you, including while you are unable to. The DPOA is effective immediately upon signing, and therefore it should be carefully drafted to ensure that the person you appoint only makes decisions for you when you are truly unable to do so for yourself.  A DPOA ends when you die, and your Will takes over.

Why do I need one?

Making a DPOA ensures that someone you trust (usually called your “agent”) will be on hand to manage the many practical, financial tasks that will arise if you become incapacitated. For example, bills must be paid, bank deposits must be made, and someone must handle insurance and benefits paperwork. Many other matters may need attention as well, from handling property repairs to managing investments.

Along with a Last Will & Testament and Advance Health Care Directive, a Durable Power of Attorney is an effective estate planning tool. At The Law Office of Proctor & Lindsay, we are here to answer your questions and assist you with your estate planning needs.