Durable, Nondurable, and Springing: Understanding the Powers of Attorney

During the creation of your estate plan, your attorney will likely discuss the pros and cons of incorporating a power of attorney into your plan. This document is a legal instrument that is used to delegate legal authority to a person of your choosing. It can be especially useful in the event that you become incapacitated and someone is needed to step in quickly to handle your affairs. Attorneys will typically advise that you exercise caution when executing a power of attorney, since the power that it grants is so extensive.

Learn the Three Common Types of Powers of Attorney

What some people do not realize is that there are several different types of powers of attorney. The following is an overview:

Nondurable

A nondurable power of attorney takes effect immediately upon execution. The principal grants the agent, or attorney in fact, certain powers that are instantly available. This authority expires, however, when the principal revokes the document, becomes mentally incompetent, or dies.

Durable

A durable power of attorney is very similar to a nondurable power of attorney in that it is effective immediately upon signing. Unlike a nondurable power of attorney, however, the authority granted under the instrument does not expire due to the principal’s physical inabilities or mental incompetence. It remains in effect unless, and until, it is revoked by the principal.

Springing

A springing power of attorney is different from both a nondurable and durable power of attorney because it does not take effect until some time in the future. Often, the power is triggered by an illness or disability of the principal. At that time, the power springs up, and the agent is able to make decisions and take actions on the principal’s behalf.

When you are ready to move forward with estate planning documents, including a power of attorney, we are here to help. We have assisted countless other clients in creating the estate plan that best suits their needs. Read about their experiences on our client testimonials page today.

 

James F. Roberts
Founder and owner of the Law Office of James F. Roberts and Associates, a premiere estate planning law firm
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