What is a Durable Power of Attorney?
A Durable Power of Attorney is a legal document that allows you to select an individual, called an agent, to manage your money and property if you become incapacitated. Your agent is granted immediate power when you execute a DPA. Anyone can be designated, but most commonly clients select his or her spouse, partner, trusted family member, or friend. By executing a DPA, it allows you to decide who will make financial, legal, and business decisions for you. Your agent is also your fiduciary, meaning they are legally bound to act in your best interests, not theirs.
If you become incapable of making decisions for yourself, and you do not have a properly drafted DPA, it may be necessary to apply to a court to have a guardian appointed. The guardianship process is time-consuming, expensive (often costing thousands of dollars), and emotionally draining.