Protecting Your Wealth One Piece At A Time

Misconceptions about durable power of attorney

On Behalf of | Jun 7, 2024 | Estate Planning |

When planning for the future, many overlook the importance of a durable power of attorney, focusing instead on wills or trusts. However, this legal tool is critical for protecting your interests should you ever become incapacitated. A durable power of attorney empowers a trusted individual to manage your affairs—ranging from financial decisions to healthcare matters—if you are unable to do so yourself.

Unfortunately, there are some misconceptions about what a durable power of attorney allows and why you might need one. If you’re planning your estate, it is important to separate fact from fiction.

Common misconceptions

One major misconception is that a durable power of attorney grants unlimited power. In reality, it allows the designated person, or “agent,” to handle specific duties like financial decisions or healthcare matters, depending on the document’s details. Usually, this designated person can only take over these specific decisions if you are unable to manage them for yourself due to death or disability.

Another common belief is that it’s only for the elderly. However, any adult can benefit from this precaution, as accidents or sudden illnesses can happen at any age. Without a durable power of attorney, your loved ones may have to go through lengthy and stressful court processes to gain similar authority should it become necessary.

Clarifying the facts

Designating a durable power of attorney is not about losing control but ensuring control during unexpected situations. Consulting with an estate planning attorney can provide personalized advice and peace of mind regarding your decisions in this area.