Durable Power of Attorney (DPOA) - Essential Legal Protection for You & Your Family
During life, we often need people to act on our behalf. This may be because we are unavailable due to other commitments, or it may be because we become unable to act on our own behalf for health reasons or due to a mental disability.
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When this happens, a durable power of attorney (DPOA) is a very useful, and in fact necessary, legal document. Not having one can result in a loss of control by you and/or your family regarding health and financial decisions. Not having a DPOA can also result in a lot of lost time, expense, heartache and can make a tremendous burden for your loved ones.
DPOA's are slightly different than a general POA, because they specifically are drafted to continue even if the person granting the power is mentally and/or physically disabled.
DPOA's are an alternative to judicial guardianships or conservatorships. From a practical standpoint, what this means to you is that, if properly drafted, a DPOA will allow a loved one to act on your behalf without a judge or the court system being involved. This is a relief for many people that would rather not have strangers making family decisions.
The Different Types of DPOA's
There are two main types of DPOA's: financial and health - related. Many estate planning attorneys prefer that these be separate documents, because there are different legal requirements for each.
DPOA's are Invaluable Resources for Family & Loved Ones
At the Family & Aging Law Center, we help clients help their loved ones by providing clear direction about what should be done in instances of incapacity.
This provides welcome relief for loved ones, who sincerely want to do what the person wants but wouldn't know exactly what to do in particular instances. It also prevents family fighting by ensuring that everyone has a clear understanding what the principal granting the power wanted.
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This article regarding a durable power of attorney by Michigan lawyer Nicole Wipp and the Family & Aging Law Center is not, and should not be construed as, legal advice. It is for general informational purposes only. To better understand how this legal concept can be applied to you, consult with an attorney.