A properly prepared Durable Powers of Attorney document allows you to designate someone to legally act on your behalf concerning your financial matters. The word “durable” means it is effective until your death.
There are two different types of durable power: one that becomes effective immediately and one that takes effect under pre-designated circumstances, such as a debilitating accident or sudden severe illness.
Here are examples to show the difference between the two types of durable power:
- If your mother is still alive, but just not quite up to the task of handling her own financial affairs, she can give you immediate Power of Attorney to pay your bills and to handle her other financial matters.
- If your father is still able to do handle his daily affairs, but he is fearful some calamity will render him incapacitated and—short of a guardianship—he’ll need someone to step in and handle his affairs. In this type of situation, your father can create a Durable Powers of Attorney that is effective only if he should become incapacitated. This type of legal document does not become effective until it’s needed according to the conditions included in it.
If there is any dispute as to whether a person has the mental capacity or not to properly handle their own affairs, the person assigned the enacted Durable Powers of Attorney has the power until it is revoked in writing.
You can represent yourself in legal matters and create legal documents on your own. But if you want your legal actions or documents done properly—to be as effective as possible and to actually comply with Indiana law—then it is better to have your lawyer do it.
The legal document to designate someone to handle your healthcare decisions is an Appointment of Healthcare Representative.
For more information or to schedule an appointment to prepare an affordable Durable Powers of Attorney or other legal document, contact us.