What is a durable power of attorney?
A durable power of attorney provides an opportunity for you to authorize a trusted family member or another person (the "agent") to act for you in a wide range of legal and business matters, including buying and selling property, managing finances, filing tax returns, making gifts, etc. The primary motivation for obtaining a durable power of attorney is to prepare for incapacity, as a properly drafted and executed document will, in the vast majority of cases, remove any need for court intervention to name a guardian or custodian to handle financial matters if you become incapacitated. However, many clients find that a durable power of attorney facilitates transactions throughout life and without regard to incapacity. For example, if one spouse is unable to attend a loan closing, the power of attorney will often permit the other spouse to sign as agent the absent spouse. Likewise, many parents use a durable power of attorney in which the parent is named as “agent” for their college-aged child, which can facilitate financial transactions while the child is away.