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Today we want to discuss durable power of attorney. What does it mean exactly?

A Durable Power of Attorney is a document that allows you to give authority to another person to make financial or legal decisions and financial transactions on your behalf. The reason it is called “durable” is that the power of attorney remains effective even in the event you become mentally incompetent.

The person who is given this “power” does not need to be an attorney. Rather, it can be a spouse, partner, relative, or close friend.

It should be someone who you trust and who will represent your wishes. If you do not have an adult who can fill this role, there are nonprofit agencies that could serve this role as well. It is recommended to name at least one alternative to serve in the event the first choice dies or becomes mentally unable to fulfill the role.

The power you give to this individual can be as limited or as broad as you like. The advantages are that a Durable Power of Attorney allows you to transfer decision-making power without disrupting your estate plan. It does not affect the disposition of your assets upon your death, as it ceases to be in effect if you as the principal should die.

But a properly prepared one can provide flexibility to plan for government benefits or transfer principal residence to your spouse in the event you need to be in a nursing home or require government assistance.

Attention! We are not attorneys and we are not lawyers. We cannot represent customers, select legal forms, or give advice on rights or laws. The article provided is for information ONLY and is NOT a substitute for the advice of a lawyer.