A durable power of attorney can be a very important document for your needs if you need to make decisions on behalf of someone else. A durable power of attorney form can also be on file for use if something happens to you and you cannot speak for yourself. A DPOA is critical for estate planning as well. Many people have this form filed for part of their estate.

Life can bring so many changes your way, and you could find yourself or someone that you love in a situation where you cannot vouch for yourself. Healthcare decisions can be a big problem if you are not able to speak for yourself, and you need to provide this form to the right person to use it if it is needed.

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Where can I get a durable power of attorney form?

If you are looking for a financial power of attorney form or a durable power of attorney template to use for your writing process, you need to be sure that you are looking at documents that match your needs as you write. The power of attorney form can be written in two ways:

  • Durable Power of Attorney Form

The durable power of attorney form is used to make decisions on your behalf if you should become incapacitated. The person that you name as your agent can act for you and make decisions for your care even if you are in a coma or are otherwise incapacitated.

  • Non-Durable Power of Attorney

The non-durable power of attorney is not for use when someone is mentally incapacitated. Dementia and other mental conditions can make this power of attorney useless to the assigned party who is named in it. The non-durable power of attorney is for use if you cannot always make decisions for yourself, but not if you are unable to make clear-headed decisions.

A durable power of attorney comes into effect when two things happen:

  1. When it is signed according to the regulations of the state that you live in.
  2. When you become incapacitated.

A durable power of attorney  ends when:

  1. You create a power of attorney
  2. When you die
  3. If there is an expiration date for the form
  4. The agent that is named in the form cannot perform their duties, and there is no named person to take their place.

If you become incapacitated, you cannot change the document either. This is the main reason that you need to name a second person to take over for the first person who is named in the document.

Durable Power of Attorney Forms

What can your named agent do for you with the power of this document?

This document will allow your agent to take care of your investments, your banking activities, your bill pay needs, and contracts of all kinds. They can also make health decisions for you, which can be really critical if you are not in good health and think that you might not be able to keep making your own choices.

This person can help with taxes, can take care of claims or litigation, or even handle your investments and retirement investments. This form can limit some kinds of actions that can be taken by your named person, but this might just be retirement accounts or other kinds of assets that are not held in just your name.

The scope of your DPOA can be determined by you and you can add as many specifics as you wish to the document. You can create as many unique additions as you wish to the document to cover specifics that are unique to your situation. You will want to be sure that the major things that the DPOA is used for are covered in your document. If you leave out any of the major segments of your DPOA or do not fill them out in a provided form, you will leave yourself open to troubles with your support and healthcare as well as your finances.

When to use a durable power of attorney

If you are not sure about when to use a power of attorney, this might be because you are not sure if you need to make one for yourself. You might be planning your estate and be unsure if this document needs to be added to the list of things that are done when creating an estate. You could need to make a DPOA for a variety of reasons, but these are the most common:

  • You are a senior citizen
  • You have surgery ahead of you
  • You are traveling or planning to live overseas
  • You are in the military
  • You are at risk of a disease or have been diagnosed with a significant disease
  • You work in a high-risk field
  • You are engaged in other dangerous activities that could threaten your well-being and your health.

Waiting too long to make this document can have dire consequences. While it is a big decision to create this document, you will be really glad that you have it on hand if something should happen to you and you have missed your chance to create this form. Even if you think that you will recover from a disease or an injury, you might not. Things can get very complicated for your family right away if you do not have any documents that give a power of attorney to take care of you and your loved ones.

You do not have to wait until you are old to create this form because life can be very uncertain. Having this kind of document on hand can make all the difference when it really counts. Make sure that you think carefully about who you want to have to serve this critical function for you if you are not able to speak for yourself. Remember that you can revoke or change this document while you are able to make decisions for yourself. However, if you are no longer able to do this, you will not be able to change the document at that point.

Financial Power of Attorney Forms

How to fill out a durable power of attorney form

Filling out this form can be easier than you think. Most of these forms are just fill-in-the-blank forms, but you might also want to make sure that your unique needs are included in your form. This is usually just done if you want to limit some of the power of the person who will be taking care of you if you cannot take care of yourself.

A lawyer can help you with this form if you need some support for your decisions and to have a breakdown of the responsibilities and conditions to think about when creating this document. This can be a very tough decision and one that you might need some extra help making. Lawyers help make these kinds of documents all the time, and they know what to advise when it comes to estate planning of various kinds.

This document can be made without the need for estate planning. There are so many reasons that this kind of document can be ideal for supporting your needs when push comes to shove, and you should not wait too long to think about getting this document created if you have concerns about needing it. It can be scary to have to think about the future, but waiting too long to get this kind of document in place can be a big mistake in some cases.

  1. Include Your Information: You will need to add your name and your address to the top of the form. This is usually the first thing that is added to the form. Include your address and phone number as needed in the form.
  2. Name Your Agent: You will next need to add the name of the person that you want to be your agent and add their address and contact information. The clause that includes this information will state that the person will be able to act on your behalf, and there might be specific language that is related to your state’s rules and regulations.
  3. List the Items That Can be Handled by Your Agent: This part of the contract can be itemized as a list to make it easier and more clear for everyone who is using the document. You will just check all of the boxes that apply to your situation, and that is all that needs to be done in this part of the form.
  4. Special Authority: There might need to be a special authority that is granted to the agent. This section of the document will allow the person who is your named agent to make gifts, to change important documents, and make alterations to beneficiaries or survivorships. You can add any specific power that you want to have included in this part of the document.
  5. Special Instructions: You can name anything that you want to have your agent do for you in this section. This can be anything at all that you can think of. Make sure that you consider all of the special things that you want to request very specifically in this section of the document.
  6. Termination: There are situations that might invalidate the document or replace it. You will need to indicate what will allow the document to be changed or terminated. This is a key part of the document and one that you cannot leave out.
  7. Guardianship: If you have anyone that you are worried about being cared for if you become incapacitated, you will need to list their names and their addresses, and phone numbers in this part of the document. This can be minor children that you have living with you, or it could be other people that you are caring for as their agent or as their caregiver.
  8. Signatures: Everyone who is involved in the document’s agreement needs to sign the document and date it. There might also need to be witnesses who sign the document depending on the regulations of your state.
  9. Notary: A notary needs to present to witness this document. You will need to include a section for the notary part of the document. You cannot sign the document without the notary present, so you will need to wait until you have all the signers with the notary on hand to finalize the document.

Durable Power of Attorney Examples

Does a durable power of attorney have to be notarized?

Yes, this document has to be notarized to be valid and useful. You cannot just sign it without a witness to record the signature. This is because this kind of document could be used to take someone’s money and freedom from them. Notaries pay attention to the mental condition of the people signing the document to make sure that no one is being coerced into signing the document.

A Durable Power of Attorney Can be Essential for Many Purposes

Durable power of attorney documents are used for a wide array of needs as people age, when they become sick, or in the case that they could become sick or unable to care for themselves. This can be one of the primary forms that are used during estate planning, but you can also create a DPOA just to be sure that you are not without the right support if something should happen to you that limits your ability to care for yourself.

A durable power of attorney is used for many purposes, and it can be customized in many ways, which makes it an ideal form to have on file if you think that you will become incapacitated or ill and be unable to advocate for yourself. This form is often given to people to just fill out and complete, but you can also choose to create your own DPOA if you want to add more additional detail than what is offered in the form-style document. Using this guide will help you to be sure that you have the right information in your DPOA to adequately protect you should you need this kind of support.

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Tagged:DurableLegalLegal AuthorizationPower of Attorney
TemplateLab February 25th, 2023
Ryan Duffy
Ryan Duffy