Durable Power of Attorney: Protecting Your Property against Incapacity

A durable power of attorney (DPOA) is a tool that allows someone to carry on your financial affairs and protect your property in a period of incapacity, almost always with no need to seek formal judicial approval. A DPOA is a legal document that gives another person the legal authority to act for you. The person to whom authority is given is referred to as an attorney-in-fact, but need not be an attorney.

You may want to execute a DPOA because in today's modern age of medical miracles, your life expectancy has increased and so have your chances of becoming physically or mentally incapable of managing your own financial affairs. A devastating illness or serious accident can happen suddenly at any age. Old age can bring senility, Alzheimer's disease, or other ailments that affect your ability to make sound decisions. You may not be able to pay your bills, write checks, make deposits, sell assets, or otherwise conduct your business. This can undermine your financial, tax, and estate planning strategies, exhaust your savings, or create debt.

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