Free Durable (Financial) Power of Attorney Form [Download]

Enable your agent to represent your interests even if you lose the legal capacity to act by using our durable power of attorney template.

Last update: 12 Oct 2023

Free Durable (Financial) Power of Attorney Form [Download]

Whether you have unstable physical or mental health, are of old age, or are simply planning to move to another location for a longer period of time, it is good to make a durable power of attorney and authorize someone to act on your behalf when you are unable to do so.

This type of power of attorney provides additional protection for the principal since it remains effective even if the principal loses the legal capacity or otherwise becomes unable to act.

What is a Durable Power of Attorney?

A durable power of attorney (DPOA) is a legal document one person, called the principal, uses to authorize another person, called the agent, to represent their interests before third parties.

A durable power of attorney is different from a regular power of attorney in a way that its validity doesn’t stop in case the principal becomes legally incapacitated or otherwise unable to represent themselves. Contrary to that, the non-durable power of attorney becomes invalid the moment the principal becomes incapacitated.

This document is mostly used in the following situations:

Durable Power of Attorney Document is Mostly Used

  • When the principal is in an unstable physical or mental condition due to their old age or bad health

  • If the principal lives far from the location where a certain action must be taken

  • When the principal lacks professional knowledge in a certain matter and wants to authorize a professional (lawyer, accountant) to take a certain action on their behalf

The durable power of attorney form usually includes information about the principal and the agent, the scope of the agent’s authority, and the principal’s signature.

Definition of “Durable” in Durable Power of Attorney

The term durable refers to the duration of the validity of the power of attorney. According to the legal definition of durable power of attorney, the document will remain valid even if the principal loses the capability to make decisions due to a lack of legal capacity.

This also means that the durable power of attorney remains valid until the principal revokes the power of attorney or passes away.

Uniform Power of Attorney Act (UPOAA)

The Uniform Law Commission enacted the Uniform Power of Attorney Act in 2006. The main idea was to create a set of laws that would govern and standardize the creation of powers of attorney among the states that adopted the UPOAA.

In practice, this means that a power of attorney created in one of the UPOAA states can be used in another UPOAA state.

States Where the UPOAA is Enacted

In total, 28 US states have enacted the UPOAA so far:

State

Year Enacted

Bill Number

Alabama

2011

SB 53

Arkansas

2011

SB 887

Colorado

2009

HB 09-1198

Connecticut

2015

Public Act No. 15-240

Georgia

2018

HB 897

Hawaii

2014

SB 2229

Idaho

2008

SB 1335

Iowa

2014

SF 2168

Kentucky

2020

HB 124

Maine

2009

LD 1404

Maryland

2010

SB 309

Montana

2011

HB 374

Nebraska

2012

LB 1113

Nevada

2009

SB 314

New Hampshire

2017

SB 230 FN

New Mexico

2007

HB 231

North Carolina

2017

SB 569

Ohio

2012

SB 117

Pennsylvania

2014

HB 1429

South Carolina

2016

SB 778

South Dakota

2020

SB 148

Texas

2017

HB 1974

Utah

2016

HB 74

Virginia

2010

SB 159

Washington

2016

SB 5635

West Virginia

2012

HB 4390

Wisconsin

2010

AB 704

Wyoming

2017

SB 105

Durable Power of Attorney vs. General Power of Attorney

The main difference between a durable and general power of attorney is the period of its validity.

The (financial) durable power of attorney will remain valid even if the principal becomes incompetent to make decisions on their own to the extent that they lose their legal capacity. This can happen in situations where the principal is diagnosed with dementia or another similar condition.

Contrary to that, the non-durable power of attorney becomes invalid in the event that the principal loses their legal capacity.

Therefore, the durable power of attorney is more suitable if the principal wishes to authorize someone to represent them on a long-term basis.

Durable Power of Attorney vs. Medical Power of Attorney

The main differences between a durable and medical power of attorney are the purpose it is used for and the moment of document activation.

The durable power of attorney is a document that is usually used for financial, legal, and other non-medical matters, such as business transactions, property management, and more. 

The medical power of attorney is almost exclusively used to authorize an attorney-in-fact to make medical decisions on behalf of the principal.

Another difference is that the durable power of attorney usually becomes active the moment the principal signs it, while the medical power of attorney usually activates the moment the principal becomes unable to make medical decisions on their own.

However, the principal can also use the durable power of attorney for healthcare matters.

Durable Power of Attorney Agent Powers

The durable power of attorney template can include the following agent’s powers:

Agent Powers

  • Real estate management: The agent can make decisions regarding the sale or purchase of real estate on behalf of the principal or be a person who manages a certain real estate facility and interacts with tenants on behalf of the principal.

  • Asset management: The principal can also authorize the agent to make decisions about any other asset, such as their car or other motor vehicles, as well as any other asset that needs to be managed in a certain way.

  • Financial management: This can include actions and powers such as managing the bank accounts of the principal, buying or selling stocks or bonds, and making other financial investments.

  • Corporate representation: The agent can have the power to represent the principal’s interests in a certain business organization and sign documents on their behalf.

  • Legal affairs: The principal can also use the durable power of attorney to hire a professional lawyer to represent them in certain legal matters.

  • Tax affairs: Usually includes the authority to file tax reports on behalf of the principal and represent the principal before the tax authorities.

  • Medical decisions: The principal can also use the durable power of attorney to authorize the agent to make medical and end-of-life decisions on their behalf.

Durable Power of Attorney Agent Liabilities

Besides the powers, the agent also has certain liabilities when representing the principal:

Agent Liabilities

  • Breach of fiduciary duty: The agent or the attorney-in-fact must act in the principal’s best interest. Therefore, they can be liable for breaching the fiduciary duty if they act contrary to the duty provided in the document.

  • Unauthorized actions: Besides acting contrary to the duties provided in the durable power of attorney, the agent can also be found liable for taking actions that are outside of their scope of authority as defined by the principal.

  • Conflict of interest: Certain categories of people cannot be named as agents due to their position as someone who has a conflict of interest. Therefore, the agent can also be liable if they enter into a conflict of interest and don’t resign as an agent.

Durable Power of Attorney Revocation

Although the durable power of attorney (durable POA) remains valid even if the principal becomes incapacitated, there are a few conditions under which the document gets terminated:

Reasons for Document Termination

  • When the principal passes away

  • If the principal issues a power of attorney revocation

  • If the agent is the principal’s spouse, the document will terminate if the court ends the marriage, unless it is otherwise provided in the document

  • The purpose of the durable power of attorney is completed

  • Due to a certain termination event

How to Get a Durable Power of Attorney

To get a legally binding and valid power of attorney, you should complete the following steps:

Step #1. Designate Your Agent

Here, you should name the attorney-in-fact or the agent. This should be a person who has the legal capacity to represent you, who is located near the place where a certain action must be taken, and who is willing to represent you. 

Moreover, you should choose a trustworthy person, especially if they will have the power to make financial or legal decisions on your behalf.

In this section, you can also name the successor agent, who will only act in case the primary agent is not able to represent you.

Step #2. Select Agent Authority

After determining the agent, you should precisely define the scope of their authority. The scope of authority mostly depends on the purpose for which you wish to issue the power of attorney.

You can give the general authority, where the agent will be able to take all the actions that are in your interest. Another option is to list out all the authorities and actions the agent is allowed to take on your behalf. The third solution is to provide general authority and list out only the actions they are not allowed to take.

Step #3. Fill out and Download the Form

Here, you can enter all the details in the form and download the durable power of attorney PDF file.

Our interactive document builder will guide you through the whole process by asking you relevant questions about the document and populating it accordingly. At the end of the process, you will have a ready-to-sign form that is in line with all the legal requirements for this type of document.

Step #4. Check Signature and Notary Requirements

Depending on the state in which you are planning to issue and use a durable power of attorney, you should check the signature and notary requirements. Some documents must be acknowledged by one or two witnesses; some also require the document to be notarized, while some states don’t have any requirements of this type.

The state laws can also limit who can witness the signing of a DPOA by determining the categories of people who cannot serve as witnesses.

Step #5. Store Your Durable Power of Attorney Form

After completing the document, the principal should keep at least one original copy of the durable power of attorney in their possession. However, they should also make sure to give one copy to the attorney-in-fact so they can prove their capacity to any third party they are interacting with on the principal’s behalf.

Durable Power of Attorney Signing Requirements

State

Signing requirements

Laws

Alabama

Notary Public

§ 26-1A-105

Alaska

Notary Public

§ 13.26.600

Arizona

1 Witness and a Notary Public

§ 14-5501

Arkansas

Notary Public

§ 28-68-105

California

2 Witnesses and a Notary Public

§ 4402(c)

Colorado

Notary Public

§ 15-14-705

Connecticut

2 Witnesses and a Notary Public

§ 1-350d

Delaware

1 Witness and a Notary Public

§ 49A-105

Florida

2 Witnesses and a Notary Public

§ 709.2105

Georgia

1 Witness and a Notary Public

§ 10-6B-5

Hawaii

Notary Public

§ 551E-3

Idaho

Notary Public

§ 15-12-105

Illinois

1 Witness and a Notary Public

§ 755 ILCS 45/3-3

Indiana

2 Witnesses and a 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 a Notary Public

§ 17–110

Massachusetts

2 Witnesses

§ 5-103

Michigan

2 Witnesses and a 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 a 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 a Notary Public

§ 5601(b)(3)

Rhode Island

Notary Public

§ 18-16-2(b)

South Carolina

2 Witnesses and a 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

Notary Public

14 §4005

Virginia

Notary Public

§ 64.2-1603

Washington

2 Witnesses and a Notary Public

§ 11.125.050

West Virginia

Notary Public

§ 39B-1-105

Wisconsin

Notary Public

§ 244.05

Wyoming

Notary Public

§ 3-9-105

Durable Power of Attorney FAQ

  • A durable power of attorney comes into effect the moment the principal issues it. However, the principal can also determine that a power of attorney will become effective only if they become incapacitated or if some other condition is fulfilled.

  • Yes, you can revoke a durable power of attorney as long as you are of sound mind and have the legal capacity. Once you have become incapacitated, you will not be able to revoke it.

  • The durable power of attorney expires after the principal passes away or if the agent resigns, and there is no successor agent appointed in the document.

  • You should use a durable power of attorney when you want to authorize another person to represent you in case you become unable to complete certain actions due to your bad physical or mental health.

  • In legal terms, durable means that a power of attorney will remain valid even if the principal becomes incapacitated.

  • The difference between a durable and regular power of attorney is in its validity. The durable power of attorney will produce legal effects even if the principal loses their legal capacity. Contrary to that, the regular power of attorney terminates in cases of the principal’s incapacity.

  • Yes, you can appoint more than one agent in your durable power of attorney. You can determine that all the agents act equally as co-agents or name the primary and secondary agents.

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