Planning for unfortunate events including serious illness or injury is rarely on anybody’s list of favorite pastimes. Occasionally, however, putting up with the little distress that could accompany preparing for the sudden will prevent untold misery on the part of your family and friends. This is definitely the situation with the Durable Power of Attorney, an often straightforward document that becomes so crucial if illness or injury leaves you powerless to take care of your own affairs.
Power of Attorney Defined
A Power of Attorney is a document in which you (as the “Principal”) let someone else (the “Representative” or “Attorney in fact”) to act officially on your behalf. The Power of Attorney may be restricted to very specific activities that the Representative is authorized to take for you. On the other hand it may give the Representative quite wide-ranging powers. In either event, the Representative you make in the Power of Attorney should be someone which you trust without reservation. That could be a family member, an adviser, a trustworthy friend or a bank or similar association.
The “Durable” Power of Attorney
The meaning of having a “Durable” Power of Attorney is best understood if you understand what sometimes happens with the plain old garden variety of Power of Attorney.
If you sign a Power of Attorney that’s not “permanent,” the document remains effective only when you are living and capable to manage your own affairs. If you become incompetent or expire, the Power of Attorney is automatically revoked for legal reasons and your Representative is not competent to act for you. This prevents a Power of Attorney from becoming irrevocable accidentally, and, until recent times, it was the only method a Power of Attorney could be ready attorney las cruces nm.
The non durable Power of Attorney has limited utility for family and estate planning functions, though, because the Power of Attorney is often most desired when you’ve become incapacitated! That’s when you actually want someone else that’s competent to make legal decisions or take other activities in your behalf.