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June 17, 2021

“Durable” vs. “Springing” Power of Attorney

Learn more about Power of Attorney declarations and the role they can play in your estate plan.

You may have heard the terms “Durable” and “Springing” associated with a Power of Attorney. These terms distinguish the circumstances under which your representative (called your “attorney-in-fact”) has the authority to act on your behalf.

With a “Durable” Power of Attorney, typically, the authority you grant to your attorney-in-fact is valid immediately and remains active should you become mentally incapacitated. “Springing” Power of Attorney is not an immediate grant of authority. It only becomes active in the event you are mentally incapacitated.

Regardless of “Durable” or “Springing,” the scope of authority you grant your attorney-in-fact is highly customizable. It can be as limited as a single act (e.g., permission to access funds from a specific bank account) or as broad as the full scope of your financial activities (e.g., banking, buying/selling property, filing taxes, etc.).

(Healthcare Power of Attorney refers to the power to act on your behalf in healthcare decisions if you are mentally incapacitated. It is a separate set of responsibilities discussed in another article.)

This article represents the opinion of the author and is intended for educational purposes. This article does not constitute legal advice, nor does it create an attorney-client relationship. One should always consult with an experienced attorney before making estate planning decisions.

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