Durable Powers of Attorney Explained

A power of attorney is a document where another person is authorized to act on your behalf for legal, financial or other matters.  Powers of attorney are effectively a permission slip to act for someone else and handle their financial and legal affairs.  To address the problems present when the principal is incapacitated or unavailable, the law developed the concept of a durable power of attorney.  That power of attorney is called “durable” because that power remains in place if the principal become incapacitated, or unable to handle those matters on your own.

Need for Durable Powers of Attorney

Without a durable power of attorney, if a person becomes incpacitated, court involvement is necessary to appoint someone to manage their financial affairs.  Incapacity can come from the diseases of old age, or life events such as traumatic car accidents.  Without having a durable power of attorney in place, a court will have to appoint a conservator to manage those financial and legal affairs, which results in a public record of those financial activities.  A durable power of attorney allows a trusted person to handle those financial and legal affairs without appointment by a court and the public annual reporting.

How do I go about establishing a durable power of attorney?

First, you must be of sound mind when you execute a power of attorney. You should ideally have an experienced estate planning attorney draft the document. You can choose whether you want your durable power of attorney to go into effect only when you become incapacitated or as soon as it is signed. Don’t worry — this will not take away your ability to make YOUR OWN financial decisions for as long as you are physically and mentally capable.


At Grabitske Law Firm, we can help you prepare and execute a durable power of attorney.  We are experienced helping clients with these matters. If you have questions about durable powers of attorney, or you want to partner with us to create this and other estate planning documents, we encourage you to contact us today. We can’t wait to hear from you!

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Grabitske Law Firm, PLC

For nearly two decades, Paul Grabitske has been helping clients with their legal issues in the areas of estate planning, probate, trust administration, business law, agricultural law and litigation.

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