Durable powers of attorney (POA), also commonly known as a financial power of attorney, can be a very useful tool for estate purposes. A durable POA is a document that allows someone to make financial decisions on someone else’s behalf. A durable POA is set for long-term, general use, versus for one specific instance, such as a home closing when the owner is unable to attend. Durable POAs are popular for parents with young adult children who legally don’t have anyone to step in for them in case of an emergency, or for children taking care of aging parents.

Here are some pros and cons to durable POAs:

1. Setup: A durable POA is fairly easy and quick to set up. However, because they’re so easy to set up and can be vague when not drafted properly, some third parties (banks, hospitals) might not accept them unless they are setup on forms specifically drafted by the institution itself.
2. Privacy: Durable POAs are generally private documents. It can be a simple document set up between two parties.
3. Flexibility: Durable POAs allow for a lot of freedom and flexibility for what the person taking over power of attorney can do. However, there is no way to account for it, so the document should be drafted with as many specifics as possible.

Durable POAs can be very beneficial, especially in an emergency. Our suggestion is to have them in place early on so decisions can be made swiftly. This is especially important for aging parents who might lose the mental capacity to make choices. With so much uncertainty this year, having POAs for loved ones could help provide ease of mind. Contact Thornton Law Firm if you are interested in setting up a durable power of attorney in the Raleigh and Durham areas.