A “power of attorney” is a document that authorizes another to act on your behalf as your agent or attorney on matters which are contained within the document. A Financial Power of Attorney is meant to allow a person to act on your behalf regarding financial matters. A “durable” power of attorney is a power of attorney which remains effective even in the event that you become disabled or unable to act on your own behalf.
If you were to become disabled or incompetent, someone attempting to act on your behalf would be required to commence guardianship proceedings in a court of law, in order to direct your financial matters. The durable power of attorney obviates the need for such a proceeding, and permits the person of your choosing to act on your behalf without court intervention.
The power of attorney could be “springing”, meaning that it could take effect under certain conditions (i.e., incapacity) or it could be effective immediately upon execution of the document.