What is a durable power of attorney?

Providing a third party with the ability to handle your finances and care for your assets is accomplished through a durable power of attorney. The person you appoint as your power of attorney can take care of paying your bills, your investments, buying or selling real estate, or authorizing any other needs to preserve or sell your assets.

A durable power of attorney is typically used when you are incapacitated or unable to personally handle a matter involving your finances. You’re providing this third party the ability to act on your behalf. A durable power of attorney is a very authoritative legal document because the person has access to all of your assets, including all of your money. Choosing a trustworthy person is vitally important.

Typically, people will choose a family member to act as power of attorney, but that may not always be possible. If you select a non-family member, be very careful that the person you select is someone who will take great care in exercising authority under the power of attorney. You may revoke the power of attorney at any time, but you must notify the person you previously appointed that their power of attorney is no longer valid. A durable power of attorney is no longer valid when revoked or at your death.