Saturday, December 8, 2012

What Does Durable Power Of Attorney Mean?

A durable power of attorney encompasses the other four types of power of attorney. They are a general, special or health attorney. Within the document that is signed by you and the other party that will be acting as your attorney, there are provisions the have special durability. For instance, when there is a durable power of attorney and you become mentally incompetent, if the document is already in effect it will then stay in effect.

A durable power of attorney is also used to prepare for the event of something possibly happening to you. The document is so that in the event that you are physically or mentally indisposed due to an accident or illness, there will be an attorney that can then handle your affairs. However, it will not go into effect unless a doctor certifies that you are mentally incompetent or incapacitated.

Choosing who will have the power in the case of an emergency is important and should be someone you trust and who will look out for your best interests. A lawyer does not need to be the agent, it can be any family, friend or organization that you choose. Whoever is chosen will be acting on your behalf. They will be making decisions that pertain to your business, health, financial obligations and possibly many other situations. These can include the care you receive or the properties that are bought or sold. The person or organization chosen, needs to be a person or organization that will not abuse the power that has been given to them.

Any agent acting on your behalf can only be held accountable when they have knowingly and purposefully engaged in misconduct in reference to your estate, business, health care or other financial obligations or investments. If they do something wrong that is done unknowingly, they will not be held accountable since it was not intentional. Many times this type of wording is added to the legal document, so that a person or organization is willing to take the responsibility of being the agent. Also, an agent does receive compensation for being so. There is no financial incentive for taking on the agent position.

Furthermore, there may be times that a successor agent may need to be appointed. This can occur when the person or organization refuses to be the agent. A successor agent can also be appointed in the case when the original agent can not take on the responsibility. For example, you have appointed an agent and have become ill and mentally incompetent. However, the agent has also become ill and incompetent. A successor agent is then appointed in this situation. It is a good idea to name one in the case of an unexpected event.

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