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Dothan, AL Law Blog

Monday, August 24, 2020

3 Good Reasons to Have a Strong Durable Power Of Attorney

Planning for incapacity may not always be on the forefront of our minds.  Have you thought about what will happen should you unexpectedly become incapable of managing your own affairs?  It can be important to confront this question and look at what tools you can put in place to protect yourself in the future. A strong durable power of attorney can be one such tool. Let us discuss three reasons to have a strong durable power of attorney in place.

  1. Accidents happen. Although it would be nice to be able to predict the future, something unexpected can occur that could put you in a position where you are unable to manage your affairs.  Maybe a car accident puts you into a coma.  Maybe you have a stroke.  Maybe you begin to suffer from dementia.  Whatever the circumstances, it can be important to help ensure that your affairs are managed as you would want them to be, even when you are unable to handle them yourself.  A durable power of attorney does just that.  “Durable” means that it can remain effective even in the event of your incapacity. Without the durability feature, a traditional power of attorney will not be valid once you are incapacitated.  Working with your lawyer, you can craft the document to give the agent as much or as little authority over your affairs as you decide.  You will likely want to pick someone you trust as your agent, as the agent will be your “fiduciary” and act only in your best interest.  

  2. You may not want a court or social worker making decisions about your affairs. Without a durable power of attorney, your family may need to go through the expense and headache of having you declared incompetent and ask the court to appoint someone to act as your agent while you are incapacitated.  While the court process is pending, a temporary guardian, perhaps a stranger, may be appointed as your agent.

  3. You may want to take things easy on your family. Spelling out your wishes in a legal document can make the already unfortunate circumstance of your incapacity easier to manage.  Rather than worry about how you would have wanted your affairs handled, your family can now be informed of your wishes.  Remember, you can always change the agent designated and the powers given. 

For more information on the importance of a durable power of attorney and related issues, please feel free to contact our office to schedule an appointment.




Reginald A. Rhodes, JD, LL.M. has an office in Dothan, AL and serves clients nationwide.



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