Power of Attorney
The Durable Personal Power of Attorney Act is in effect. A Durable Personal Power of Attorney is durable because it is designed to survive the incapacity of the principal. It is personal because it relates only to personal assets and interests, not routine business matters that are specific event targeted and short lived, and it is a power of attorney because it allows one person, the principal, to give authority to another person, the agent, to act on the principal's behalf.
The purpose of the statute is to provide greater safeguards for individuals granting authority to others to act on their behalf. It relates only to financial matters; it does not relate to health care decisions.
The statute DOES NOT affect powers of attorney already in place. It is not retroactive. It does require that all new Durable Personal Powers of attorney meet certain criteria. As shown in the attached form, there are essentially three different parts to the document. There is a Notice to Principal, a one page document which must be signed by the principal-the person giving the power to another, an agent. The purpose of the Notice to Principal is to provide in simple language an explanation of what the power of attorney means to them. Next, there is the Durable Personal Power of Attorney which walks the principal through the process of indicating who the agent or agents are, when the power is to come into effect, what powers are included, and whether a previously signed power of attorney is to be revoked. Finally, the Statement to Agent, which has to be signed before the power of attorney can be used---and that can be much later than the date the power is executed by the principal-- tells the agent the duties associated with taking on the job.