Reviewed by Kellen Bryant, Esq.
Did you know that it is possible to support loved ones and guide important decisions, even if you suffer an incapacitating illness or accident, by planning ahead? A strong durable power of attorney can make the difference.
A power of attorney is a written document that allows one person, often called the “principal,” to direct someone else, often called the “agent,” to act or make decisions on the principal’s behalf. The power of attorney can limit the agent’s power to specific actions, such as purchasing a car. In the alternative, it can give an agent extensive power, such as handling health care decisions, financial transactions, and legal documents. Due to the powers involved, the agent should be someone you fully trust, whether a family member, friend, or advisor.
A power of attorney, however, may only be effective while you are alive and capable of making decisions yourself. Let us go over three reasons why you should have a strong durable power of attorney in place:
- A durable power of attorney remains “durable” or effective even if you suffer an incapacitating illness or accident. This means your agent can continue to make decisions on your behalf and based on your wishes, even when you cannot act for yourself.
- Without a durable power of attorney, you may be left with no one, or possibly too many, to represent your interests, such as your finances, business, or health. A durable power of attorney gives you and your loved ones clarity about what you want when you may be unable to communicate.
- Even if you prepare a durable power of attorney, you can revoke or terminate it at any time, so long as you are mentally capable. If so, you can revise the durable power of attorney over time, as your needs and wishes change.
Preparing a durable power of attorney can provide your family and friends with the clarity they need during a difficult time. For more information on this and related topics, please feel free to reach out to a member attorney in your area. Find a member attorney by clicking here.