What is a Durable Power of Attorney?

A durable power attorney permits someone to manage your estate-related matters if you become unable to do so yourself. This individual is appointed as your agent, who is then allowed to deposit your checks, file your taxes and even sell your home. However, before you appoint someone as your durable power of attorney, you should understand what the decision means for you and your family’s future. 

Establishing a durable POA in Indiana often requires an attorney’s assistance. Visit Arshad, Pangere & Warring, LLC for dependable insight into your specific circumstances. 

Indiana Legal Requirements of a POA

A “durable” POA is an individual who handles financial and medical-related matters for an incapacitated person. Establishing a POA plans for the unexpected instances that you can no longer make important legal and medical decisions for yourself and instead must pass these responsibilities onto someone else. 

Your POA is only valid if it meets designated requirements. First, you must be of sound mind when making a POA. While the exact limits are interpreted differently by the courts, you should speak to an attorney if you aren’t certain that the individual meets the requirements for mental capacity. Additionally, a POA document must be signed in the precise of a notary public or two witnesses. Witnesses cannot be named as an agent in the POA or granted any benefits. Spouses or descendants of those individuals are also not permitted as witnesses. 

Who Can Be Named an Agent?

Any competent adult is allowed to be named as an agent. The laws do not take into account certain factors that may influence your decision, however, such as their geographical location or general trustworthiness. An attorney can help you understand how to choose a suitable agent.  

While Indiana law allows you to appoint a co-agent, it’s usually recommended to limit yourself to one agent to reduce the risk of conflicts. You may name a “successor” agent so that if the original agent cannot continue their duties, you have a backup. 

When Is a Durable POA Effective?

The POA is immediately effective unless a future date is indicated. Some people choose to establish a “springing” power attorney in which the POA is effective only after a specific condition is satisfied, but there are a few reasons this method is not typically recommended. 

A durable POA ends upon your death. Other actions that impact a POA”s efficacy include: 

  • You Revoke It. You can revoke the document on your own accord, given that you are mentally competent. 
  • An Agent Is Unavailable. Naming a successor agent in your plan reduces the potential that there is no agent available. 
  • The Court Declares It Invalid. On rare occasions, the court may determine your document invalid if you were not mentally competent when signing it, or if you were a victim to fraud.  

Discuss Your Estate Plan With an Attorney

Estate planning takes the mystery out of the future. By having a durable POA in place, you can rest assured that your duties are transferred according to your wishes. For assistance with the process, contact our attorneys at Arshad, Pangere & Warring, LLC.

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