It may be safe to say that 2020 has been an interesting year, to say the least. A global pandemic has certainly demonstrated that what one knows as “normal life” can quickly be redefined. A positive, which flows from the lessons of 2020, may be the reminder to be prepared for the unexpected. Have you heard of a durable power of attorney (DPOA)? Let us take some time to discuss what a DPOA is and how it can be very important to have one in place.
A DPOA authorizes a designated person, your “agent,” of your choosing to act on your behalf, either generally or in a specific area, such as financial matters. A general power of attorney is revoked, when you become incapacitated. By being designated as durable,, a DPOA stays in full effect should you become incapacitated. This means that, if you were to become unexpectedly incapacitated, you could have a designated person in place to make financial and legal decisions on your behalf.
When you create a DPOA, you can work with your lawyer to grant a broad power of attorney or to provide detailed instructions to your appointed agent. This means that you can decide how specific a DPOA may be. An agent has the duty to use care and diligence, and to follow the instructions set forth in the DPOA.
Choosing an agent for a DPOA can feel like a big decision. An experienced lawyer can assist you in navigating key considerations to select the right agent for your DPOA, such as whether the potential agent holds the same values or opinions regarding finances and other important matters as you do. The important point is that, with some thoughtful consideration, you can designate an agent who can leave you with some peace of mind. You should also rest assured that a DPOA can be revoked at any time.
A DPOA may be a smart way to create a level of certainty, during uncertain times. Get in touch with our office to discuss DPOAs and related matters in more detail.