1st Feb 2018

As promised in the last post, this blog post begins a closer look at 1 of the 3 documents that should be part of any basic estate planning discussion: a Durable Power of Attorney.

Let’s start with breaking down the unusual name.

What does the “Attorney” part mean? Similar to how you hire an attorney to act or speak on your behalf, the document appoints someone (formally called an Attorney-in-Fact) to be your agent or to act on your behalf.  They do not have to be an attorney by trade.  They can be a spouse, relative, friend, or other trusted person.

What does the “Power” part mean? The document grants certain powers or things your Attorney-in-Fact can do on your behalf.  These powers are usually broad, but they can be limited, depending on what fits the particular situation.

What does the “Durable” part mean? While someone is of sound mind and body they can instruct someone to be their agent or act on their behalf.  When someone is no longer of sound mind and body they cannot.  But that is exactly the time when someone may need an agent to act on their behalf the most.  Modern laws loosen prior common law and allow someone now to name an Attorney-in-Fact in a Durable Power of Attorney, and this designation can survive or endure their incapacity – so that the Attorney-in-Fact can act of their behalf, even when they are no longer of sound mind and body.

Breaking down the name gives quit a bit of insight into the nature of the document. The next post will look at the main issues or components of a Durable Power of Attorney.

If our office may be of assistance to you in these areas, do not hesitate to contact us at (580) 338-6503 or at coryhicks@fieldandhicks.com or using any of our contact information in the profile.  You can also visit www.fieldandhicks.com for more information.

This blog contains general information and the opinions of the author – not legal advice; you should seek the advice of competent counsel (attorney/lawyer) when considering any legal issues.

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