A General Durable Power of Attorney (GDPOA) is a document that allows you to appoint one or more people to make your financial, business, and property decisions for you. If you have one completed, your appointed agent will be able to manage your financial affairs, pay your bills, sell unneeded assets, and take other necessary actions in the event you are ever unable to do these things due to health, age, or other reasons that leave you unable or unavailable.
If you do not have a GDPOA in place and you are rendered unable to manage your own affairs, your family will likely face some difficulties. They may be unable to sell assets to pay bills, write checks, withdraw funds from accounts, request your records, and other transactions that are necessary to take care of you and your estate. In those situations, the family often has lengthy and costly delays, and will be forced to obtain a court-ordered guardianship. That can be an expensive, public, and cumbersome process that should be avoided, if possible.
We caution against the use of powers-of-attorney from non-attorney sources. While it is true that a GDPOA is not the most complex legal document, it can raise potentially complex issues such as when the powers go into effect, who has the powers, and what powers they have. Additionally, errors in drafting or executing a GDPOA could render it invalid.