What a Durable Power of Attorney Does

Estate Planning Lawyer

What Is a Durable Power of Attorney?

Perhaps you have already heard of a power of attorney. A POA is a document that names a person you have allowed to act on your behalf. This person would handle finances, health care and other similar decisions. You might designate a power of attorney to take care of your estate while you are out of the country for a certain period of time, or to handle the sale of your home while you are in the hospital dealing with a particular illness. When you are incapacitated in some way, the power of attorney generally has no more power to act on your behalf.

A durable power of attorney, however, does continue to have that power if you become incapacitated. You gave him or her the power to make certain financial decisions, and those powers do not become void if you get injured and end up in a coma. For example, if you designate someone as your durable POA while you travel abroad, but you’re also trying to sell your home, that individual could take care of the sale of your house. Say you were injured while abroad and ended up in a coma. The individual could decide whether to move ahead with the sale of the house or do something else.

What Are Some Additional Benefits of a Durable POA?

The biggest benefit of designating someone as your durable POA is that you have someone you trust who can make decisions you are unable to make. If you become incapacitated, nobody has to worry or argue over what should happen with your finances or your healthcare, because you have already named someone you trust to make those decisions. Your durable POA can also:

  • Help you apply for government assistance
  • File your tax returns
  • Manage bank accounts, investments and other financial issues

How Do You Get Started?

If you’re interested in designating a durable POA, it might benefit you to have the assistance of an estate planning lawyer in Alexandria, LA from a firm like Theus Law Offices. Your lawyer can assist you in getting other types of wills and documents in place as well and can guide you in making the right decision on who your durable POA should be. Many individuals have had the help of lawyers to lessen the headaches of legal documents and to make the process easier.