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As most attorneys know, a durable power of attorney is a document in which one can delegate certain powers over one’s financial life to another person or persons. While it takes effect immediately upon signing, it is most useful at a time when, for a variety of reasons, an older client can no longer act on her own behalf. In fact, what makes the power of attorney “durable” is the very fact that the agent can act for the principal when the principal suffers from a disability. For the power of attorney to actually be “durable,” the document must simply state that the agent can act regardless of any subsequent disability of the principal, or words to that effect. Since there is a high probability that an older client may face such a period of disability, a durable power of attorney is one of the essential tools that must be implemented in any estate plan for an older adult.

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