General Durable Power Of Attorney

A general durable power of attorney is the document by which you appoint someone to act as your "agent" (aka attorney-in-fact). The document also specifies the agent's powers and authority over your business and personal affairs.

There are two types of general durable powers of attorney. One type is called a "springing power of attorney". It is called "springing" because the agent does not have any power until two licensed physicians certify that you are incapacitated and cannot manage your affairs. Springing powers of attorney are not favored because of the time and effort required to get the physician certifications. The second, and more common, type of general durable power of attorney is effective immediately. Because the agent must sign an "acceptance" before taking any action, this type of power of attorney is often executed and then retained by your attorney until he or she is notified that you are incapacitated and need assistance. Upon receiving notification, the attorney will arrange for the acceptance to be signed by your agent.

Generally, if you have a general durable power of attorney and your agent is acting lawfully, you can avoid a conservatorship proceeding in probate court. Should a conservatorship proceeding be initiated, the agent you appoint in your general durable power of attorney will have priority in the appointment of a conservator for you.

If you would like more information on general durable powers of attorney and their benefits, please contact us for a free consultation (888-526-4489).