What is the difference between a Power of Attorney and a Durable Power of Attorney?

Both powers of attorneys are legal documents where you appoint an individual to act as your agent for financial matters. Both documents give the agent very broad financial powers, but can be more limited if you decide to limit the agent's powers. 

In the case of a non-durable power of attorney, the agent is generally authorized to act once you sign the document, but the agent's authority ceases when and if you become incapacitated. 

In the case of a durable power of attorney, the agent is generally authorized to act once you sign the document and can continue to act when and if you become incapacitated. The term "durable" refers to the document surviving the your incapacity. By default, all powers of attorney executed after October 1, 2016 are durable.

The designated agent may have general or specific powers, depending on the type of power of attorney. To make a power of attorney more useful, estate planning attorneys often add provisions regarding specific situations or transactions that might occur in the future. Typically agents are empowered to handle things like finances, business transactions, making gifts, or hiring professionals to help with related activities.

If you have questions about your power of attorney documents or need to have yours updated or created, contact us today.

Related information:

What is a Power of Attorney and Who Should You Choose?
Estate Planning and Disgruntled Heirs: Ways to Avoid the Fight
How to Challenge a Power of Attorney?
Who Should I Choose as a Power of Attorney?
New Connecticut Power of Attorney Finally Gives You More Protection

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