What’re the Differences?
There is a difference between a power of attorney and a durable power of attorney, or DPA. The “durable” occurs when the POA is not affected by your subsequent incapacity, and to be durable, it must be explicitly stated as such. That’s what the durable part means, and we use it for most of our clients. In most cases, we want the authority to continue if the principal, the maker of the POA, were to lose their competency or be medically unable to handle their affairs. A DPA is essential when trying to move assets for a spouse that is seeking health benefits. However, your DPA must specifically allow for such transfers, which is another reason we don’t like the fill-in online, type of documents; they usually miss this part.
If you execute a durable POA and name someone to be your attorney, we always recommend that you also appoint an individual or individuals to be your backup or successor attorney. You may choose to name one person or select and name two or more to perform jointly, and it’s proper always to have backup individuals named in the case that first-person cannot serve as your power of attorney for some reason. A power of attorney is very flexible, and there are lots of different options. Most clients sign the power of attorney and make it effective immediately when it comes to their spouse. They’re giving immediate authority over their spouse to sign for them whenever it is convenient. But then, as to the backup person, whether it be their children or somebody else, we don’t often want to make the power immediate unless there’s some real need for it. We at Hudack Law are here to help with all your Estate Planning needs. Please call us today at 951-708-3577 or 714-351-3236.