Regular or Durable Power of Attorney – What’s the difference?
So your estate planning lawyer suggests that you have a Power of Attorney drawn up. No problem. You’ve heard that term before and have a general understanding of why you need it and how it works. All you have to do is pick someone to make decisions on your behalf, right? True, but then your lawyer asks if you want a regular or durable power of attorney, and suddenly you are looking at him like a deer in headlights.
Where did these words “regular” and “durable” come from? What’s the difference?
While the term power of attorney is common, most people don’t realize there are several types — each with their own rules and provisions. We will do a deep dive into the different types of powers of attorney you have at your disposal in subsequent blogs. For now, let’s help you decide if you want or need a Regular or Durable Power of Attorney.
Regular or Durable Power of Attorney
As you know by now, a power of attorney is a legal document through which you give someone (a friend, family member, etc.) the authority to make decisions and take actions on your behalf. Common powers this person (known as the attorney-in-fact or agent) can have include conducting business transactions, paying bills, and even signing checks.
However, here are two key questions you must ask yourself:
- Do I want the powers I’ve just granted to end the moment I become incapacitated? Or …
- Do I want the powers I’ve just granted to my family members to extend through to the day I die?
A Regular Power of Attorney is only valid until you become incapacitated. Meanwhile, a Durable Power of Attorney provides specific language within the document that grants your agent powers even after you are unable to make decisions for yourself. They can continue acting on your behalf, making important financial or medical decisions either until you revoke it or you die.
A regular or limited power of attorney is suitable in plenty of situations, especially if you simply want someone to help shoulder the load of important decisions as you age. But it is not meant to handle a variety of end-of-life decisions, which is why the durable power of attorney is a better option for a lot of people.
Call Nelson Law Group today!!
When it comes to protecting your family’s future for years down the road, it is imperative to have an estate planning attorney in your corner at all times. While most people immediately think of documents such as wills and trusts when it comes to their estate planning needs, there are a variety of additional solutions. Give our knowledgeable staff here at Nelson Law Group, PC a call if you have any further questions regarding this – or any other – issue. Our staff is always available.
Give us a call today! For more information about Brett A Nelson click here.