A durable power of attorney (DPOA) is a legal document that gives someone you trust the authority to make decisions on your behalf. This can be particularly important if you become incapacitated or otherwise unable to make decisions for yourself.
Why is a Durable Power of Attorney Important?
There are many potential situations in which having a DPOA could be important. For example, if you are in an accident and unable to communicate, your DPOA could make medical decisions on your behalf. Or, if you become incapacitated due to illness or injury, your DPOA could manage your finances and property.
Without a DPOA, your family or friends would have to go to court to get authority to make decisions on your behalf. This can be time-consuming and expensive. Having a DPOA in place beforehand can save your loved ones a lot of stress and worry.
How Does a Durable Power of Attorney Work?
DPOAs are relatively simple documents. You simply name the person (or persons) you want to make decisions on your behalf and specify the types of decisions they are authorized to make. You can give them as much or as little authority as you want.
It’s important to note that a DPOA only takes effect if you become unable to make decisions for yourself. As long as you have the capacity, you retain the right to make decisions on your own behalf. For example, if you become incapacitated due to an accident, your DPOA would take effect. But if you simply change your mind about a particular decision, your DPOA cannot override your wishes.
Who Should I Name as My Durable Power of Attorney?
This is entirely up to you. You can name anyone you trust, including a spouse, child, friend, or professional advisor. Keep in mind that whoever you name will have a significant amount of responsibility, so it’s important to choose someone you trust implicitly.
You can also name more than one person as your DPOA. This can be helpful if you want different people to handle different types of decisions (e.g., financial vs. medical). Or, if you’re concerned about the health of your DPOA, naming a successor DPOA can give you peace of mind that there’s someone else in place to take over if necessary.
How Can I Get a Durable Power of Attorney?
If you’re interested in getting a DPOA, the first step is to consult with an experienced estate planning attorney. We can help you understand the process and ensure that your DPOA is properly prepared and executed. If you need help with family law, contact us today at (470) 291-5342 to schedule a consultation with our law firm.