A power of attorney appoints someone else, known as the “agent,” to act in your place when you are unable to do so. Did you know that, if the power of attorney is durable, then it can remain in place even if you are incapacitated and unable to manage your affairs on your own? If you become incapacitated, a durable power of attorney (DPOA) may be one of the most important document to have in place.
If you are incapacitated, a strong durable power of attorney may allow you to choose:
- who makes health care decisions for you,
- who manages your finances, and
- who takes care of your children.
A critical element of establishing a durable power of attorney can be choosing the right decision maker, or agent. Often, different people can be needed for different power of attorney roles. It may be helpful to think about the duties of each role. For instance, if you are looking to establish a DPOA for managing your financial affairs should you become incapacitated, it will likely be a good idea to select an agent who may be financially competent, detail-oriented, and trustworthy.
Should you already have a DPOA in place, be sure to update it often. Things change over time, including relationships with your appointees and financial institutions. Check to make sure you are still comfortable with who you have selected as your agents. Should you wish to revoke an established Durable Powers of Attorney, do not wait to speak with your experienced estate planning attorney immediately.
A strong DPOA may be one of the best way to protect you and your family should you become incapacitated. We have seen such an increased need for a strong, and well developed, durable power of attorney throughout the pandemic. Please set up an appointment with our office today to discuss how to help you and your family be prepared should you become incapacitated.