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The Difference Between a General Power of Attorney and a Durable Power of Attorney

The Difference Between a General Power of Attorney and a Durable Power of Attorney

Are you trying to help an aging parent with their finances, or with their wills?

Or, do you want to make sure your parent’s wishes will be honored should they become incapacitated?

If you answered yes to either of these questions, then you need a Power of Attorney document.

There are a few different categories of powers, used in different scenarios. Two types to consider are General Power of Attorney (GPOA) and Durable Power of Attorney (DPOA). They’re equally important in the legal authority field, but there’s one key difference between them.

Keep reading to determine which POA is the best fit for your family situation.

If you’re appointed as the agent in a Durable Power of Attorney (DPOA), you’ll be given legal authority to act on your parents’ behalf. You’ll have the designation required to care for them even if they become suddenly incapacitated, until the day they pass away.

A General Power of Attorney (GPOA) is similar to a DPOA in that it allows your parents to appoint you as their agent. As a GPOA, your duties will end if your parents ever became incapacitated. This means that your role is to support them under their general guidance or supervision, as long as they are still able to make their own decisions.

The key differentiation between DPOA vs GPOA is simple: incapacitation.

A durable power of attorney means there’s language in the document that states an agent’s authority continues to apply if you become incapacitated. There is no automatic deadline by which these powers expire. A durable power of attorney stays effective until the principle dies or until they act to revoke the power they’ve granted to their agent.

There are a few circumstances where courts will end durable power of attorney. Most notably, in cases where the principle and agent became divorced but hadn’t updated documents. Remember, once you have completed your estate planning documents you should revise them every five years or when there is a change in a family member that is named in your estate planning.

Make sure you understand the differences. Kevin Miller is an estate planning attorney in Oklahoma City that has extensive experience as a probate, elder law, and estate planning. Kevin will guide you through the process of creating a will, trust, advance directive, and power of attorney document. Kevin is motivated to help all families in Oklahoma City get the proper estate planning documents in place long before they need them.

If you have further questions or would like to discuss the process and pricing, please contact us through the website, or call 405-443-5100.

We are here to help.