A Durable Power of Attorney is a document created to appoint an individual to handle your financial and other affairs during your lifetime if you are unavailable to do so yourself, such as if you become incapacitated.
A Durable Power of Attorney can provide broad and extensive powers for a person of your choosing (known as your agent) to make decisions on your behalf. These powers include, but are not limited to:
- Filing tax returns
- Buying and selling real estate
- Managing property
- Handling bank transactions
- Acquiring life, health, and automobile insurance
- Settling claims
- Entering into contracts
- Managing stocks
- Operating a business
- Transferring assets to a Revocable Trust
A Durable Power of Attorney must be signed by the person granting the authority to make decisions on his or her behalf. This person is called the principal. When the Durable Power of Attorney is signed, the principal must be mentally competent. In addition, the document must be notarized, which helps avoid challenges later on about decisions made by the agent on behalf of the principal.
Having a properly designed and implemented Durable Power of Attorney is just as important as having a Will. In fact, it is more important, since it allows others to help you while you are still alive.
Contact us to discuss your particular situation and obtain sound legal counsel about executing a Durable Power of Attorney.