What is a durable power of attorney?
A power of attorney is a fundamental estate planning document. It allows you to authorize another person, called an attorney in fact, to act in your place. Usually a power of attorney has a long list of things that your attorney in fact can do for you. If it is durable, it means that it is effective even if your are disabled or incapacitated. In South Carolina, a power of attorney must contain special language in order to make it durable. Most forms used by attorneys that I know contain this language.
The power of attorney is possibly the most powerful document someone can sign. It can be drafted to allow someone to do everything you can do. It is important to go over the ramifications of this with your attorney. Before signing one, carefully consider the ramifications and any special circumstances you may have. Also, carefully consider who you are picking as your attorney in fact – it is critical to name someone you trust completely.
I will be writing more on this topic later.
One important reminder: this blog is for information only. It is not intended to be legal advice.