A power of attorney is a document which grants another trusted person the authority to act on your behalf in a legal capacity. These documents may be very broad and encompass any decision which you yourself could make which is called a general or durable power of attorney (DPA). On the other hand, they may be narrowly tailored and only concern a specific event of circumstance which is called a specific power of attorney.
Durable Power of Attorney
A durable power of attorney is a very flexible tool which can be used to allow a trusted family member or friend to control your financial and legal matters just as if they were you. In the event that you are ill or otherwise unable to express your own wishes, a DPA can become effective and allow this person (also known as your attorney-in-fact) to make any decision that you yourself could make. While the authority given to your attorney-in-fact may be limited by the document, it is this tool that can be so powerful in your overall estate plan. Either as a standalone document or coupled with other parts of your estate plan, a DPA is one of the most useful instruments available to you in ensuring your affairs are taken care of when you are no longer able to.