Question: What is the difference between a Power of Attorney and a Durable Power of Attorney?
Answer: Both are legal documents where the client appoints an individual to act as his agent for purposes of financial matters. Both give the agent very broad financial powers, but can be more limited if the client decides to limit the agent’s powers. In the case of a general Power of Attorney, the agent is generally authorized to act once the client signs the document, but the agent’s authority ceases when and if the client becomes incapacitated. In the case of a Durable Power of Attorney, the agent is generally authorized to act once the client signs the document and can continue to act when and if the client becomes incapacitated. Hence the term “durable” which in this case means it survives the client’s incapacity. To make a power of attorney more useful, attorneys often add provisions regarding specific situations or transactions that might occur in the future, including the authority , when appropriate, to make gifts.
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Sharon L. Pope, Esq.
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