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What are durable powers of attorney?

On Behalf of | Jun 10, 2023 | Estate Planning And Elder Law

One of the most difficult aspects of planning for the future is considering what could happen if you face incapacitation and are unable to speak for yourself. You may understand the importance of planning for what will happen to your property after you pass, but you will also benefit from preparing for certain needs that may arise during your lifetime. In the event that you are not able to make requests, make decisions, express wishes or outline preferences for your finances or your medical care, there are certain legal documents that will be critical during this time. 

A durable power of attorney is an estate planning document that will be important in the event of incapacitation. This document appoints an individual to act on your behalf, but this should be someone you trust and on whom you can rely. As you consider your options and create an estate planning strategy that provides you with peace of mind, you will not want to overlook the creation of a durable POA. 

The importance of planning for the future 

A durable power of attorney is different from a regular power of attorney in that it remains in place even if you become incapacitated. In this document, you will name someone who will act on your behalf regarding financial and medical needs that you may have. It is possible to name one person for both medical and financial decisions, or you could appoint different people for different responsibilities. One of the benefits of having a durable power of attorney is that it removes stress that can come after the sudden onset of a serious illness or after a serious accident. 

If you are of sound mind, it is possible to revoke power of attorney and give that designation to someone else, but it is much more difficult to do so if already incapacitated. That is why it is critical to be conscious and considerate when making this decision. In many cases, a durable power of attorney works well in conjunction with a living will. 

The ideal estate planning strategy 

There is no one-size-fits-all solution to making important estate planning decisions. If you are considering your options and weighing the benefits of a durable power of attorney, you may find it helpful to first seek an assessment of your goals and concerns to identify the most practical and effective estate planning solutions available to you. With a complete estate plan in place, you can look to the future with confidence.