Durable Powers of Attorney
A General Durable Power of Attorney appoints someone you trust - your “Agent” - to act for you with respect to any assets that are not, or cannot, be retitled in the name of your trust (like retirement plans), but the power becomes effective only when you become legally incapacitated –that is, only in the event that you become unable to effectively manage your property or financial affairs. It does not authorize anyone to make health care decisions for you. Your Agent is ordinarily authorized to transfer property to your living trust, to make withdrawals from your retirement assets, to prepare and sign tax returns, to access a safe deposit box in your name, or to do anything else that you want your Agent to do to take care of your personal financial affairs. Your General Durable Power of Attorney may also contain your wishes for the nomination of a Guardian for you, if you become legally incapacitated, which authorizes your Agent to make arrangements for your personal care and comfort, in addition to your financial affairs.
When a General Durable Power of Attorney is prepared to authorize your Agent to perform only very limited acts on your behalf it is sometimes called a Special Durable Power of Attorney. Any Power of Attorney is automatically revoked, and becomes legally ineffective when you, the Principal, pass away.