Free Durable Power of Attorney Form

Start a Durable Power of Attorney form today, to appoint a person (an Agent) to manage financial affairs on your behalf.

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What is a Durable Power of Attorney

A Durable Power of Attorney form (DPOA) is a legal instrument that enables an individual to designate a trusted person to manage their financial affairs should they become incapable of doing so themselves.

This authority may be enacted under the following circumstances:

  • Should you become physically disabled or incapacitated, inhibiting your ability to personally manage your assets.
  • If you are legally declared incompetent, a situation that disqualifies you from managing your financial affairs.
  • If you desire to appoint an agent to take the reins of your financial management, particularly in case you are incapacitated or deemed legally incompetent.

Entrusting someone with a Durable Power of Attorney form ensures peace of mind, knowing that your financial interests will be safeguarded and competently managed during unforeseen circumstances.

Other Names for a Durable Power of Attorney

Durable Power of Attorney, often shortened to DPOA, is also known as an Enduring Power of Attorney in some regions, or more descriptively, Power of Attorney with durable provisions.

Despite the variations in naming, the essential purpose and function of this legal document—providing lasting appointed authority—remains consistent.

Who Are the Key Parties Involved in this Agreement

The Principal: The individual who is seeking to appoint a power of attorney.

The Agent: An Agent, also known as the Attorney in Fact, takes control of the Principal’s financial affairs. Additional Co-Agents can be appointed by the Principal in a DPOA.

When to Use a Durable POA

A Durable Power of Attorney form (DPOA) serves as a safety net, providing a legal solution to a range of situations where you may be unable to manage your financial affairs. It is particularly advisable to use a DPOA in the following scenarios:

  • Planning for potential incapacitation: If you have any health conditions that might potentially render you unable to manage your finances or if you want to proactively prepare for unforeseen circumstances.
  • Legal incompetence: In cases where there's a risk you could be legally declared incompetent due to mental health concerns or cognitive decline.
  • Age-related considerations: As you age, it becomes increasingly crucial to have arrangements in place to handle your finances, especially if cognitive decline becomes a concern.
  • Frequent or risky travel: If you travel frequently or engage in risky activities that could lead to incapacitation, a DPOA can ensure your finances are managed.
  • Complex financial management: If your financial affairs require expert handling, such as managing large investments or running a business, appointing a trusted individual with a Durable Power of Attorney for finance can be a prudent step.

In essence, a Durable POA is an essential instrument in any comprehensive financial planning or estate planning strategy. It provides a means to ensure your financial matters will be aptly handled, regardless of the circumstances that might arise.

Durable Power of Attorney for Finances

Creating a Durable Power of Attorney for finances can give Agents different powers related to your financial affairs. These include the handling of:

  • Real estate
  • Personal property
  • Banking
  • Taxes
  • Government benefits
  • Retirement transactions
  • Buying and selling stocks and bonds

There are additionally many other provisions that are permitted within a DPOA form. You can choose which of these will apply when you create and put this kind of legal instrument into effect.

When building a POA document, you can also set limits on what the Agent can and cannot do.

For example, you can limit the actions an appointed Agent can take regarding changes to your will, selling property and personal assets. It can also stipulate the revocation of Power of Attorney if the agent breaches the agreements of the DPOA or if they can no longer perform their duties.

On a related note, the Uniform Power of Attorney Act (UPOAA) is a standardized approach to power of attorney laws intended to simplify these complex legal documents.

As of now, the UPOAA has been adopted in 28 states, offering a statutory form to streamline the process and make it more consistent across these jurisdictions.

This approach can provide additional clarity and uniformity when establishing a Durable Power of Attorney for finances.

Uses of a Durable Power of Attorney

DPOA Statute Laws by State

This section provides a comprehensive overview of the varying statute laws concerning Durable Power of Attorney across different states in the U.S.:

State Statute
Alabama § 26-1A-301
Alaska Sec. 13-26-645
Arizona § 14-5501
Arkansas § 28-68-301
California Probate Code § 4401, Sec. 3, Chapter 113 (pp. 3–5)
Colorado § 15-14-741
Connecticut Sec. 1-352
Delaware § 49A-301
Florida § 709.2104
Georgia § 10-6B-70
Hawaii § 551E-51
Idaho § 15-12-301
Illinois 755 ILCS 45/3-3
Indiana IC 30-5-2-7
Iowa § 633B.301
Kansas § 58-654
Kentucky § 457.420
Louisiana CC 2989, CC 2993
Maine § 5-904
Maryland § 17–202
Massachusetts Section 5–502
Michigan § 700.5501, § 700.5502
Minnesota § 523.23
Mississippi § 87-3-107
Missouri § 404.705
Montana § 72-31-353
Nebraska § 30-4041
Nevada N RS 162A.210
New Hampshire § 564-E:301
New Jersey § 46:2B-8.3
New Mexico § 45-5B-301
New York GOB § 5-1513
North Carolina § 32C-3-301
North Dakota § 30.1-30-02
Ohio § 1337.60
Oklahoma § 3041
Oregon § 127.015
Pennsylvania § 5602
Rhode Island § 18-16-2
South Carolina Section 62-8-104
South Dakota § 59-12-41
Tennessee § 34-6-102
Texas § 752.051
Utah § 75-9-301
Vermont 14 V.S.A. § 3508
Virginia § 64.2-1602
Washington RCW 11.125.020(2)
West Virginia § 39B-3-101
Wisconsin § 244.61
Wyoming § 3-9-301

Durable Power of Attorney Sample

Before setting out to draft any legal material, it's beneficial to inspect a model document. This approach ensures you have a grasp of the appropriate structure of a Durable Power f Attorney, effectively preventing critical errors that could result in legal disputes.

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Durable Power of Attorney Sample Form

How to Write a Durable Power of Attorney Form

There are a few considerations that you should keep in mind before appointing a Power of Attorney.

Before starting a Durable POA document, individuals are advised to read and understand the following steps:

Important Information Regarding Your Jurisdiction’s Laws or Regulations

This section outlines the function of the document and responsibilities of the agent. Read this thoroughly to understand the implications of the document.

Fill in the required citation (referencing your jurisdiction's laws or regulations) to clarify the scope of the agent's authority.

Designation of Agent

After inputting your name, you need to identify who will hold the authority to make decisions on your behalf. This person should be dependable and capable of making decisions aligned with your best interests. Remember, the person you select will have considerable power and control over your affairs. agent-designation

Designation of Successor Agent (optional)

Designating a successor is an optional contingency plan in case your initial agent cannot fulfil their duties.

This role, like the initial agent, requires a responsible individual. Choosing more than one successor can provide additional assurance that someone will be available to act on your behalf. designate-successor-agent

Grant of General Authority

In this section, you're customizing the scope of the agent's powers. By initialing the different categories, you determine which areas your agent can act within.

Be cautious and conscious of what each category implies, to avoid granting unwanted authority. grant-general-authority-and-limitations

Grant of Specific Authority

If you choose to grant specific authority, your agent will be able to perform certain actions that can significantly impact your estate.

Each item in this section is a significant action that can affect your property or its disposition upon your death. Only grant these powers if you fully trust your agent's judgment.

To point out the relevance of this section, be aware that these specific authorities may include:

  • Create or change rights of survivorship
  • Create or change a beneficiary designation
  • Authorize another person to exercise the authority granted under this power of attorney
  • Exercise fiduciary powers that the principal has authority to delegate
  • Access the content of electronic communications

Limitation on Agent's Authority

This section provides a chance to further refine your agent's powers.

You might think of it as a space for customization or clarifications, enabling you to add any nuanced details regarding the agent's role that were not covered in previous sections.

Effective Date

Unless you stipulate otherwise, the power of attorney will come into effect as soon as it's signed and notarized.

However, you have the option to specify conditions for its activation, such as a medical determination of incapacity. specify-effective-date

Reliance on This Power of Attorney

This reassures third parties (banks, financial institutions, etc.) that they can rely on the decisions made by your agent.

If you become incapacitated, the document remains valid, providing necessary continuity.

Signature and Acknowledgment

Here, you officially sign the document, indicating your approval of all the details within.

A notary's presence is often required to authenticate the document, providing an additional level of security and validity. signing-requirements.webp

Important Information for Agent

This final part of the document details the responsibilities and legal obligations of the agent.

It's not only for your agent to read but also for you to understand what expectations and responsibilities your agent is bound by law to meet.

DPOA Signing Requirements

For a Durable Power of Attorney to be legally binding, the Principal's signature must be carried out in compliance with the specific regulations stipulated by state law.

State Signing Requirements & Laws
Alabama Notary Public (§ 26-1A-105)
Alaska Notary Public (§ 13.26.600)
Arizona 1 Witness and Notary Public (§ 14-5501)
Arkansas Notary Public (§ 28-68-105)
California 2 Witnesses or Notary Public (§ 4402(c))
Colorado Notary Public (§ 15-14-705)
Connecticut 2 Witnesses and Notary Public (§ 1-350d)
Delaware 1 Witness and Notary Public (§ 49A-105)
Florida 2 Witnesses and Notary Public (§ 709.2105)
Georgia 1 Witness and Notary Public (§ 10-6B-5)
Hawaii Notary Public (§ 551E-3)
Idaho Notary Public (§ 15-12-105)
Illinois 1 Witness and Notary Public (§ 755 ILCS 45/3-3)
Indiana 2 Witnesses or Notary Public (IC 30-5-4-1)
Iowa Notary Public (§ 633B.105)
Kansas Notary Public (§ 58-652(3))
Kentucky Notary Public (§ 457.050)
Louisiana No Statute
Maine Notary Public (§ 5-905(1))
Maryland 2 Witnesses and Notary Public (§ 17–110)
Massachusetts 2 Witnesses (§ 5-103)
Michigan 2 Witnesses or Notary Public (§ 700-5501(2))
Minnesota Notary Public (§ 523.01)
Mississippi Notary Public (§ 87-3-105)
Missouri Notary Public (§ 404.705(3))
Montana Notary Public (§ 72-31-305)
Nebraska Notary Public (§ 30-4005)
Nevada Notary Public (§ 162A.220(1))
New Hampshire Notary Public (§ 564-E:105)
New Jersey Notary Public (§ 46:2B-8.9)
New Mexico Notary Public (§ 45-5B-105)
New York 2 Witnesses and Notary Public (§ 5-1501B)
North Carolina Notary Public (§ 32C-1-105)
North Dakota No Statute
Ohio Notary Public (§ 1337.25)
Oklahoma Notary Public (§ 3005)
Oregon No Statute
Pennsylvania 2 Witnesses and Notary Public (§ 5601(b)(3))
Rhode Island Notary Public (§ 18-16-2)
South Carolina 2 Witnesses and Notary Public (§ 62-8-105)
South Dakota Notary Public (§ 59-12-4)
Tennessee No Statute
Texas Notary Public (§ 751.0021)
Utah Notary Public (§ 75-9-105)
Vermont 1 Witness and Notary Public (§ 3503)
Virginia Notary Public (§ 64.2-1603)
Washington 2 Witnesses or Notary Public (§ 11.125.050)
West Virginia Notary Public (§ 39B-1-105)
Wisconsin Notary Public (§ 244.05)
Wyoming Notary Public (§ 3-9-105)

DPOA for Healthcare vs DPOA

A Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare is an alternative POA document that gives the Agent instructions on how to attend to the Principal’s healthcare needs.

This is different from a regular Durable POA, which only grants powers to manage the financial affairs of the individual appointing an Attorney-in-Fact.

A Durable POA for Healthcare has some similarities to an Advance Directive or Living Will, as it gives details regarding your desires for medical treatment if you are unconscious or incapacitated.

However, the key difference with a DPOA for Healthcare is that it empowers the Agent to make medical decisions for you. It allows the Agent(s) or Attorney-in-Fact to act for you if you are incapacitated due to injury, disability, declining health, advanced age, or mental health reasons.

For a better understanding, examine the following simplified comparison table illustrating the differences between a Durable Power of Attorney (DPOA) for Healthcare and a general DPOA: dpoa-for-healthcare-vs-dpoa.webp

Durable Power of Attorney FAQs

If you’re still unsure if a Durable Power of Attorney is right for your situation, read below for answers to the most asked questions about this type of legal form.

What Does Durable Power of Attorney Mean?

A Durable Power of Attorney means that an individual (the Principal) has legally appointed one or more persons (or Agents) to manage some or all their financial affairs.

This grants the appointee the authority to act on the Principal's behalf before and/or at any time they become physically or mentally incapacitated, including decisions about their well-being, personal finances, and asset management.

These powers can be specially tailored to an individual’s necessities, depending on their circumstances.

How to Fill Out a Durable Power of Attorney?

Simply follow these steps to complete a Durable Power of Attorney document:

  1. Select Create Document at the top of this page
  2. Enter your name and the name of the person you have chosen as your Agent
  3. Specify when the POA will come into effect
  4. Choose the powers you wish to grant the Agent
  5. Download and print off your completed forms
  6. Sign and date the documents (you may require a notary and witnesses)

What is the Difference Between a General POA and a Durable Power of Attorney?

The key difference between a General Power of Attorney and a Durable Power of Attorney is that a General POA ends as soon as you become incapacitated or die.

However, a Durable POA continues to be valid even if you become incapacitated. It remains in force until its revocation, the appointment of a different Attorney-in-Fact, or your death.

When Does Durable Power of Attorney End?

Unless you have specified otherwise, a Durable Power of Attorney can last until your death.

While, your appointed Agent may manage your funeral plans and financial affairs before you have died, they cannot take on these responsibilities after your death.

However, as the Principal of this kind of legal instrument, you can revoke the POA at any time and/or specify an end date to your Agent’s authority within your document.

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DURABLE POWER OF ATTORNEY

Notice to Person Executing Durable Power of Attorney
A durable power of attorney is an important legal document. By signing the durable power of attorney, you are authorizing another person to act for you, the principal. Before you sign this durable power of attorney, you should know these important facts:

Your agent (attorney-in-fact) has no duty to act unless you and your agent agree otherwise in writing. This document gives your agent the powers to manage, dispose of, sell, and convey your real and personal property, and to use your property as security if your agent borrows money on your behalf. This document does not give your agent the power to accept or receive any of your property, in trust or otherwise, as a gift, unless you specifically authorize the agent to accept or receive a gift.

Your agent will have the right to receive reasonable payment for services provided under this durable power of attorney unless you provide otherwise in this power of attorney.

The powers you give your agent will continue to exist for your entire lifetime, unless you state that the durable power of attorney will last for a shorter period of time or unless you otherwise terminate the durable power of attorney. The powers you give your agent in this durable power of attorney will continue to exist even if you can no longer make your own decisions respecting the management of your property.

You can amend or change this durable power of attorney only by executing a new durable power of attorney or by executing an amendment through the same formalities as an original. You have the right to revoke or terminate this durable power of attorney at any time, so long as you are competent.

This durable power of attorney must be dated and must be acknowledged before a notary public or attested to by 2 witnesses. A durable power of attorney that may affect real property should be acknowledged before a notary public so that it may easily be recorded.

You should read this durable power of attorney carefully. When effective, this durable power of attorney will give your agent the right to deal with property that you now have or might acquire in the future. The durable power of attorney is important to you. If you do not understand the durable power of attorney, or any provision of it, then you should obtain the assistance of an attorney or other qualified person.

NOTICE: THE POWERS GRANTED BY THIS DOCUMENT ARE BROAD AND SWEEPING. THEY ARE EXPLAINED IN THE UNIFORM STATUTORY FORM POWER OF ATTORNEY ACT (CALIFORNIA PROBATE CODE SECTIONS 4400-4465). IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS ABOUT THESE POWERS, OBTAIN COMPETENT LEGAL ADVICE. THIS DOCUMENT DOES NOT AUTHORIZE ANYONE TO MAKE MEDICAL AND OTHER HEALTHCARE DECISIONS FOR YOU. YOU MAY REVOKE THIS POWER OF ATTORNEY IF YOU LATER WISH TO DO SO.
I, _________, _________, _________, _________ _________, appoint _________ of _________, _________, _________ _________, as my agent (attorney-in-fact) to act for me in any lawful way with respect to the following initialed subjects.
This Power of Attorney shall not be affected by subsequent incapacity of the principal.

All acts done by the Agent pursuant to a durable power of attorney during the principal´s incapacity have the same effect, power, authority and inure to the benefit of and bind the principal and the principal´s succesors in interest as if the principal had capacity. This power shall authorize my Agent to manage my affairs and to exercise all of my legal rights, including rights and powers acquired in the future. My Agent's authorized, but not limited to, exercise the power to:
- Real property transactions

- Tangible personal property

- Stocks and bonds

- Commodity and options

- Bank and other financial institutions

- Operation of entity or business

- Estates, trusts, and other beneficial interests

- Insurance and annuity transactions

- Claims and litigation

- Personal and family maintenance

- Benefits from governmental programs or civil or military service

- Retirement plans

- Taxes
I hereby revoke or terminate any and all general powers of attorney and special powers of attorney that previously have been signed by me.
This Power of Attorney shall be construed broadly as a General Power of Attorney. The listing of specific powers is not intended to limit or restrict the general powers granted in this Power of Attorney in any manner.

Any power or authority granted to my Agent under this document shall be limited to the extent necessary to prevent this Power of Attorney from causing, (i) my income to be taxable to my Agent, (ii) my assets to be subject to a general power of appointment by my Agent, or (iii) my Agent to have any incidents of ownership with respect to any life insurance policies that I may own on the life of my Agent.
RESTRICTION ON AGENT'S AUTHORITY
An agent that is not my ancestor, spouse, or descendant MAY NOT use my property to benefit the agent or a person to whom the agent owes an obligation of support unless I have included that authority in the Special Instructions.
THIS POWER OF ATTORNEY IS NOT AFFECTED BY SUBSEQUENT INCAPACITY OF THE PRINCIPAL.
My Agent shall not be liable for any loss that results from a judgment error that was made in good faith. However, my Agent shall be liable for willful misconduct or the failure to act in good faith while acting under the authority of this Power of Attorney. A Successor Agent shall not be liable for acts of a prior Agent.
My Agent is not entitled to any payment, during my lifetime or upon my death, for any services provided under this power of attorney, and will not be entitled to reimbursement of expenses incurred as a result of acting under any provision of this Power of Attorney.
My Agent shall provide an accounting for all funds handled and all acts performed at any time upon my request or the request of any authorized personal representative, fiduciary or court of record acting on my behalf. If so requested, within 30 days the agent shall comply with the request or provide a writing or other record substantiating why additional time is needed and shall comply with the request within an additional 30 days.

This Power of Attorney shall be governed by the laws of the state of California. Moreover, I intend to have this Power of Attorney universally recognized and be admissible to recordation. In case that I become a resident of another jurisdiction, or obtain any form of property interest in another jurisdiction, it remains my intention that the laws of California shall continue to govern over this Power of Attorney to the extent that might be legally possible.
This Power of Attorney takes effect immediately and shall not be affected by my disability or lack of mental competence, except as may be provided otherwise by an applicable state statute. This is a Durable Power of Attorney. A durable power of attorney is a power by which a principal designates another person as agent in writing and the power of attorney continues to be in effect despite the death or incapacity of the principal. This Power of Attorney shall continue to be effective until my death. This Power of Attorney may be revoked by me at any time by providing written notice to my Agent.
Dated ____________________, ______, at _________, _________.



__________________________________
_________



Witness Signature: ___________________________________
Name: _________
City: _________
State: _________



Witness Signature: ___________________________________
Name: _________
City: _________
State: _________

A notary public or other officer completing this certificate verifies only the identity of the individual(s) who signed the document to which this certificate is attached, and not the truthfulness, accuracy, or validity of that document.

STATE OF _________,
COUNTY OF _________, ss:

On ________________ before me, _________________________________, personally appeared _________, who proved to me on the basis of satisfactory evidence to be the person(s) whose name(s) is/are subscribed to the within instrument and acknowledged to me that he/she/they executed the same in his/her/their authorized capacity(ies), and that by his/her/their signature(s) on the instrument the person(s), or the entity upon behalf of which the person(s) acted, executed the instrument.

I certify under PENALTY OF PERJURY under the laws of the State of California that the foregoing paragraph is true and correct.

WITNESS my hand and official seal.



________________________________(Notary Seal)
Signature of Notary Public

Notice to Person Accepting the Appointment as Attorney-in-Fact:

By acting or agreeing to act as the agent (attorney-in-fact) under this power of attorney you assume the fiduciary and other legal responsibilities of an agent. These responsibilities include:

1. The legal duty to act solely in the interest of the principal and to avoid conflicts of interest.

2. The legal duty to keep the principal's property separate and distinct from any other property owned or controlled by you.

You may not transfer the principals property to yourself without full and adequate consideration or accept a gift of the principals property unless this power of attorney specifically authorizes you to transfer property to yourself or accept a gift of the principal's property. If you transfer the principals property to yourself without specific authorization in the power of attorney, you may be prosecuted for fraud and/or embezzlement. If the principal is 65 years of age or older at the time that the property is transferred to you without authority, you may also be prosecuted for elder abuse under Penal Code Section 368. In addition to criminal prosecution, you may also be sued in civil court.

I have read the foregoing notice and I understand the legal and fiduciary duties that I assume by acting or agreeing to act as the agent (attorney-in-fact) under the terms of this power of attorney.

Date:
Signed:



_________________________________
_________
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