What Is a Durable Power of Attorney?
On behalf of David Whitlock at Whitlock Canter LLC
Paramus Durable Power of Attorney for Financial Matters
A Durable Power of Attorney is a legal document that gives a designated person the authority to act on your behalf regarding financial matters in the event you are no longer able to make these decisions on your own behalf. The person who signs a Power of Attorney is called the Principal and the person given the authority to act on behalf of the Principal is call the “Attorney-in-Fact”.
A Durable Power of Attorney is effective the moment it is signed. There is a different kind of Power of Attorney called a “Springing Power of Attorney” which only “springs” into legal effect if you become incapacitated. However, the “Springing Power of Attorney” is not very practical because you must be prepared to prove to the bank, broker or title company you are asking to act upon the authority of the Power of Attorney that the Principal is incapacitated. Such proof inevitably involves doctor examinations and reports and thus can be expensive and cause delay at a time when you need to use the Power of Attorney. In order to avoid the practical problems associated with “Springing Powers of Attorney” most Clients chose to use the “Durable Power of Attorney” – but must be careful to chose an agent to act on their behalf in which they have complete trust.
Upon your death your Durable Power of Attorney is no longer legally effective.
Without a valid Durable Power of Attorney family members are left to pursue costly and lengthy incompetency court proceedings to appoint a legal guardian.