Q: What is a durable power of attorney? Do I need one if I already have a trust?

by | Feb 8, 2023 | Estate Planning, Q&A |

A: A durable power of attorney is a legal document that authorizes another person to act on your behalf immediately or when you become incapacitated. By signing a durable power of attorney, you give the nominated agent (also called the attorney-in-fact) the ability to handle financial and legal matters when you are unable to do so yourself. For example, you may give your agent the power to purchase or sell assets, manage finances, or handle issues related to government benefits. While the trustee of your trust will handle issues related to the assets held in your trust, the agent under your durable power of attorney will primarily handle issues related to assets or matters outside of your trust. For this reason, it is important to have both documents included in your estate plan.