What Is a Durable Power of Attorney?
Power of attorney is an authority granted by one person to manage the financial affairs of another. A durable power of attorney is a specialized type which becomes effective when a person becomes incapacitated and is no longer able to make decisions for himself. It is very important that special care and consideration be taken in choosing whom to grant such authority to, and a Bryan probate attorney can help.
The Principal and Agent
The person granting durable power of attorney is the principal, while the individual or entity who is thusly empowered is the agent. These terms apply more generally to power of attorney as well, but the point is that the agent is deemed authority to act on behalf of the other. It should be clear that when you choose this person you need to consider whom you can trust implicitly. You do not want to make a poor choice and see your assets diminished. Such a person should not only be utterly trustworthy, but also knowledgeable of finances so that he can make wise decisions.
Why a Durable Power of Attorney Is Important
No one knows when a health problem may strike. Failing health is all the more likely as a person ages, but a person may suffer a severe and debilitating injury in an accident even at a young age. It is important to have a person named to take over your affairs if and when such a situation arises. Imagine, for instance, suffering from Alzheimer's. While it is tragic to contemplate, you know that such a disease often comes with age, and it is prudent to be prepared just in case.
There are circumstances when a person becomes incapacitated, but later recuperates as well. A person may, for instance, suffer serious injury in an automobile accident, but later recover sufficiently to resume control of his affairs. A durable power of attorney is ideal for such a use, as well as for situations when the principal is unlikely to recover.