Durable Power of Attorney Form

A durable power of attorney is an official two-sided agreement that enables a principal to choose and assign an agent to represent their will in specified commercial decisions. The durability of the form manifests in its feature of staying in effect even if the principal becomes incapacitated (actually, the form has its effect till the initiator of the form is alive). Consequently, the durable power of attorney overcomes the general power of attorney, as the latter does not provide the agent’s right to represent the principal’s financial will after incapacitation.

Primary Definitions

Principal — an individual who desires to assign their financial power to someone else.

Agent (attorney-in-fact, surrogate) — an individual who will make specified commercial decisions on behalf of the principal.

Alternate agent — an individual who is able to represent the principal in the case of absence or disability of the prior agent.

Durable – not limited by the occasion of principal’s incapability or mental disability.

Incapability - the condition in which the principal becomes unable to make responsible decisions by themselves. The principal’s primary doctor must verify such a condition.

Conservatorship (custody) — the court’s decision to appoint a supervisor to a person who cannot make decisions because of their health conditions. In the case of a durable power of attorney, custody is established for solving commercial matters for the principal’s will.

Reasons for Authorizing a Durable Power of Attorney

The principal may establish the durable power of attorney if they desire to let another person represent their will while making commercial decisions after becoming disabled for making conscious decisions independently. The form operates while the principal is alive and can be edited under local legislation regarding the state where the actions are performed. Remember that such a document is governed by the laws of the jurisdiction where the matter takes place.

Thus, the principal can empower the agent with the decision-making authority in the following financial strata:

  • Insurance
  • real property
  • stocks and obligations
  • pension plans
  • business handling
  • personal or family deals handling
  • state awards and donations
  • state and federal taxes
  • share ownership

Note that by creating a durable power of attorney, the principal admits that they withdraw all previously produced POAs.

Can I Edit the Terms of a Durable POA?

Yes, for changing the conditions of the form, one must create a new document. After its signing, the previous form becomes invalid.

Does a Durable POA Cover Healthcare Decisions?

No, a durable financial power of attorney form can only permit processing payments for some medical procedures but not choosing and assigning them. For medical decisions, you would want to create a medical power of attorney.

How to Create a Durable Power of Attorney Document

1. Choosing a Trustworthy Agent

The principal’s goal here is to select a person they can rely on, as the agent will have the power to make financial decisions on their behalf if something happens. The chosen person must be an adult individual, preferably a relative or a close friend, or even a professional of the field, such as a business partner. The principal can also choose no more than two alternate agents, who will be able to substitute the primary agent in case of poor health, inability to be present, etc.

The first thing to do is to make sure whether the desired person is ready to be appointed as a surrogate, understands the financial conditions of the principal, and will be able to act on behalf of one.

2. Specifying the Rights

Suppose the principal decided to endow someone with the ability to represent the commercial interest. In that case, it is essential to specify in which exact situations the agent will be able to act on their behalf. In the form, there is a section where one can list the endowed powers. However, one should always verify if the state legislation permits the transfer of a particular power.

3. Defining Special Powers

There is a special part of the form that lets the principal select certain powers from the list. Such actions include:

  • gift-making
  • establishing, editing, ending the living trust
  • indicating beneficiary
  • appointing new agents
4. Filling and Signing the Form

Below is detailed instruction on how to fill the durable power of attorney. Remember that each state has its own signing restrictions. The majority of states also require to notarize the form after completing it. The principal can select an Online Notary, find a notary service in financial organizations (banks, credit unions, etc.), or hire a notary to meet in person.

5. Performing According to the Form

After the correct completion of the form, the agent(s) can start acting on behalf of the principal. Note that the agent has to bring and demonstrate a copy of the document when representing the principal’s will.

The comprehensive instruction on how to complete the general POA and a sample form is provided below.

How to Fill a Durable Power of Attorney

  1. The first section of the form requires to write the information on the date of the form filling and the contact information of both sides (name, home address, and state of residence consequently).
  2. The following section is reserved for the specification of the form’s beginning date. There are two options available to be initialized by one (only one option can be chosen). By leaving the initials next to the first option, the principal agrees to set the power of the form immediately after its completion. The second option lets to postpone the document’s activation until the moment of the principal’s incapability.
  3. The ongoing section aims to specify the transferred powers. By leaving the initials near any number of the 12 suggested lines, the principal acknowledges the powers given to the agent. The last line is dedicated to specifying the actions not presented in the initial list. One may write additional powers or limit some of the dedication automatically.
    After picking all the desired powers, the principal must fill in the last field in the section with the state where their power of attorney will take effect.
  4. The next step is to sign the form. The principal should write the date of filling the form and leave their signature.
    Next, according to the state’s legislation, the witness(es) and a Notary Public fill the further blanks.
  5. The last field requires the agent’s acceptance of the specified terms. One should leave their printed name and sign the form.