Powers of attorney are important legal instruments that allow others to act on your behalf. In the context of estate planning, you might use them to let other people make important financial decisions for you if you become incapacitated.
If this is one of your goals, you might want to know the difference between a durable versus regular power of attorney. This article will examine that.
Definition of durability
Generally, speaking, a durable power of attorney is one that remains in effect when you can no longer make your own legal decisions. An example of this might be if you become unconscious after a serious injury. Similarly, there are powers of attorney that begin upon your incapacitation.
Durable versus regular
In a very simple example of a California power of attorney, you can see the difference between a durable versus a regular version in a single sentence. There is a sentence about the document remaining effective after the signer becomes incapacitated.
In other words, the default power of attorney form is a durable power of attorney. To change it into a regular one, the form suggests that you cross out the line which makes it durable.
Consequences of powers of attorney
If you look at the uniform statutory form, you will also see that there is a notice at the very beginning. This notice speaks very briefly about the potential impacts and limitations of powers of attorney.
As the form explains, powers of attorney could give other people broad and sweeping power over your financial and legal life. They are also limited in that they do not allow people to make healthcare or medical decisions. As such, powers of attorney are usually only one part of an estate plan.