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What does Durable mean?

The Power of Attorney document can be made 'Durable.' This means that, even if you become disabled or lack sufficient mental competence to handle your own affairs, the powers granted to your Agent will continue to remain in effect. 


In fact, many Principals do not want the Power of Attorney to become effective until they become mentally incompetent. In this situation, you may specify that the Power of Attorney (i) "shall not be affected by my disability or lack of mental competence," or (ii) "shall become effective upon written certification . . . that I am disabled or lack sufficient mental competence" (a 'Springing' Power of Attorney). 


Making the Power of Attorney durable allows you to select the individual who will handle your affairs if you become incompetent. In the absence of a Power of Attorney, the matter would have to be presented to a court, who would then appoint a conservator to handle your affairs for you. You would not be able to select the individual in that situation. 


Note: The Springing Power of Attorney is not available in Florida. In Florida, the Power of Attorney will go into effect immediately after it is signed and delivered.