How to Write an Enduring Power of Attorney

by Beverly Bird
An eduring POA will be crucial should you become incapacitated.

An eduring POA will be crucial should you become incapacitated.

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In law, some documents have more than one common name. An enduring power of attorney is the same as a durable power of attorney; both terms mean that an agent you’ve designated to conduct personal business for you can continue to act beyond a certain point, usually your incapacitation. An enduring POA refers to how long your POA lasts, not the scope of powers you’re allowing your agent to perform. Canada, Australia and Great Britain commonly use the word “enduring” for this document. The terms are interchangeable in the United States.

Step 1

Caption your document in large bold letters. If your enduring POA does not take effect until you become incapacitated, and your agent does not already have a copy of it, he will have to look for it. This will help him identify it among your other important papers.

Step 2

Identify yourself and your agent in the first paragraph of your enduring POA. Add that you are voluntarily appointing this individual and that you are currently of sound mind.

Step 3

Include language in your second paragraph to make your POA enduring. You can state that it “becomes effective upon your legal incapacity,” or that your POA is effective immediately and “shall not be affected” or terminated by your potential incapacity. The former provision is also sometimes referred to as a “springing” power of attorney. If you don’t specifically state one of these two options, your POA is not enduring.

Step 4

Describe the powers you’re giving your agent in the third paragraph. Since your POA is enduring, your agent will need to be able to do everything you currently do on your own behalf, such as write checks, buy and sell assets, and prepare and sign your tax returns when you can no longer do these things for yourself. Ideally, you should list each power in separate sub-paragraphs, itemizing everything you want your agent to take care of for you.

Step 5

Sign and date your power of attorney. Most states require that you have your signature notarized. Some jurisdictions also require one or two witnesses in addition to the notary. Check your state’s website or confer with a legal professional to find out the law in your state.