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Durable Power of Attorney: Do I Really Need to Create One?

Nov. 2, 2017

People typically do not like to think or talk about subjects like what will happen to assets and property when we are gone, or who will make decisions for us if we cannot make them ourselves. However, ignoring these subjects because they are uncomfortable will not make them go away. In fact, it could only make things more difficult.

For instance, if you do not have a durable power of attorney established, then your loved ones can wind up facing complicated and unexpected decisions if you should become incapacitated. To protect yourself and your loved ones, you can make the decision to assign durable power of attorney.

What is a durable power of attorney?

A durable power of attorney is a means of giving someone else the authority to make certain decisions on your behalf. More specifically, this person or persons step in to make medical and/or financial decisions if you become incapacitated.

As such, it is crucial that you think carefully about whom to appoint to these roles. You will want to be sure the person has your best interests at heart, is capable of making decisions under stress and is willing to take on such an important responsibility.

What to know when assigning durable powers of attorney

Understand that these appointments should be made when a person is in good mental health and has the capacity to appoint powers of attorney. Further, you should know that a power of attorney must be durable to be in effect if you become incapacitated.

It would also be wise to have legal counsel to ensure the documents are enforceable and valid, which can prevent any conflicts or disputes down the line.

So, do I need a durable power of attorney?

Every person can benefit from assigning powers of attorney. Not only does it give you peace of mind in knowing that someone you know and trust can make decisions on your behalf, but it can also give your loved ones the guidance and reassurance they need to take care of you if you cannot take care of yourself.