What makes a Power of Attorney “durable”?

Fair question.  The answer, very logical.  A “durable” power of attorney must be printed on 40lb bond paper.  

No, that’s not what makes it durable, I swear, this stuff is funny – to someone (okay, maybe just me).

A Power of Attorney document is based entirely in agency law.  Rule One of agency law – is that an agent (the person nominated to serve in the power of attorney) must be controlled or subject to the control of a principal (the person signing the power of attorney).  It follows, that when the principal becomes incapacitated, the agent’s authority ends.  A “durable” power of attorney is one that does not become ineffective regardless of the principal’s capacity.

Practically speaking, clients who are doing estate planning want that power of attorney to continue to be operable even if incapacitated.  Ohio changed and updated its laws on Power of Attorneys in 2012.  A Power of Attorney is really not a document you want to find on the internet and download and rely upon and they are not expensive to have made.  Seriously, pick up the phone, call your attorney.

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