A durable power of attorney form is used to appoint another person the authority to act on your affairs in the event that you become incapacitated and can’t take care of your affairs yourself.
The difference – when comparing durable power of attorney with any other type of normal power of attorney – is that when made durable, a power of attorney contains a special clause stating that it will remain in effect through the incapacity of the principal. This is the distinct advantage a durable power of attorney form has over a regular power of attorney – it does not terminate in the event of the principal’s incapacitation.
How to Get Durable Power of Attorney
A durable power of attorney form is just like any of the other types of power of attorney forms. You select a trusted agent, your attorney-in-fact, to take care of all or certain specific actions if you are unable to take care of them yourself. Your agent can sign documents, pay bills, write checks, authorize medical procedures and more, pretty much whatever you have given authorization for in the durable POA.
The basic premise of the durable POA is this: the PRINCIPAL – person signing the durable power of attorney form – appoints an ATTORNEY-IN-FACT – person receiving durable power of attorney. Once signed, sealed and witnessed by a notary, a durable POA gives the attorney-in-fact the complete authority to act on behalf of the principal and take care of his or her affairs.
Difference between Durable Power of Attorney and General Power of Attorney
Durable power of attorney differs from general power of attorney because of a special clause included in the durable power of attorney form about incapacity. The main difference between the two is as follows:
- A durable power of attorney remains in effect in the event the principal becomes incapacitated or mentally incompetent.
- A general power of attorney automatically terminates with incapacity or mental incompetence of the principal.
This is the major advantage of creating a durable power of attorney when compared to a general power of attorney, especially when a loved one has a debilitating disease or illness. With a durable POA, you empower your agent to make all the decisions as if you were making them on your own and the POA does not terminate on incapacitation.
How to Fill Out a Durable Power of Attorney Form
When starting a durable power of attorney form, begin by entering the full legal name and address of the PRINCIPAL – this is the person authorizing durable power of attorney. Then, enter the full legal name and address of the ATTORNEY-IN-FACT – this is the agent or person receiving durable power of attorney.
Next, the durable power of attorney form should be dated, state and county information added and the witness signatures included. The PRINCIPAL will then sign and date the durable power of attorney form in the presence of a notary public.
Finally, the notary public signs and seals the form to execute your durable power of attorney. Once signed and sealed, your durable POA is valid in all fifty states. Make sure your original POA form is stored where your family can find it and make sure your attorney-in-fact has a copy.
Sample Durable Power of Attorney Form
Our sample durable power of attorney form has all of the basic information needed for the principal to give power of attorney to the chosen agent. Just cut and paste this durable POA form to a word document or PDF and change it to fit your needs. Feel free to add or exclude any information to the form needed.
I, ________________________________, hereby revoke any general power of attorney that I have heretofore given to any person and do hereby appoint_______________________________________ to be my true and lawful Agent for me and on my behalf to perform all such acts as my Agent in his/her absolute discretion may deem advisable, as fully as I could do if personally present.
This Power of Attorney is durable and shall not be affected my subsequent disability or incapacity.
I. Except as otherwise stated in this Power of Attorney, my Agent is given the fullest powers to act on my behalf, including the following powers (cross out and initial any powers you do not want to give):
• To make limited gifts.
• To create a trust for my benefit.
• To make additions to an existing trust for my benefit.
• To claim an elective share of the estate of my deceased spouse.
• To disclaim any interest in property.
• To renounce fiduciary positions.
• To withdraw and receive the income or corpus of a trust.
• To authorize my admission to a medical, nursing, residential, or similar facility.
• To authorize medical and surgical procedures.
• To engage in real property transactions.
• To engage in tangible personal property transactions.
• To engage in stock, bond, and other securities transactions.
• To engage in commodity and option transactions.
• To borrow money.
• To enter safe deposit boxes.
• To engage in insurance transactions.
• To engage in retirement plan transactions.
• To handle interests in estates and trusts.
• To pursue claims and litigation.
• To receive government benefits.
• To pursue tax matters.
• To make an anatomical gift of all or part of my body.
• To make or do any of the following: ____________________________________________
II. This Power of Attorney shall not expire by reason of lapse of time.
III. This Power of Attorney shall be revoked by my giving my Agent written notification of the revocation. This notice shall not be considered binding unless actually received.
V. I willfully and voluntarily sign this document and I understand its purpose.
Principal’s Signature and Date
Statement and Signature of Witnesses
We sign below as witnesses. This declaration was signed in our presence. The principal appears to be of sound mind, and to be making this designation voluntarily without duress.
Witness Signature Witness Signature
Print Name Print Name
On this ______ day of ___________________, 20____, before me personally appeared the aforesaid principal, to me known to be the person described in and who executed the foregoing instrument and acknowledged executed as free act and deed. IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and affixed my official seal in the
County of ___________________, State of ______________________, the day and year first above.
Notary Public My Commission Expires
Do I Need a Lawyer to Create a Durable Power of Attorney?
No, the fact is you do not need a lawyer to create a durable power of attorney. You can create your own durable POA for free with ease. Just download and print a durable power of attorney form online and complete the document yourself.
However, a generic durable power of attorney form may not be good enough if you have specific issues that need to be included and you do not know how to address them. We highly suggest that you consult a licensed attorney before drafting and executing a durable power of attorney on your own.