A durable power of attorney is a legal document that authorizes an individual to legally act on behalf of another individual. The individual granting the authority to someone else to act on their behalf is referred to as the principal, and the individual being given the authority is referred to as the agent.
Executing a durable power of attorney is a serious matter since the person you select as your agent will have legal authority to act on your behalf. It is imperative that your agent be trustworthy and that you have no doubt that they will act in your best interest.
A durable power of attorney is especially important in the event of the principal’s incapacity. If a valid durable power of attorney exists prior to the principal’s incapacity, then the agent has full authority to make decisions on the principal’s behalf (to the extent they were granted in the power of attorney document).