What if I want my agent to act for me even if I become disabled?

As stated above, the legal authority granted your agent to act for you in most Powers of Attorney automatically terminates if you become mentally disabled; thus a Power of Attorney can become useless exactly when it is needed the most. For this reason, many Powers of Attorney contain language that makes them “durable” so that the legal authority granted the agent continues even if the principal becomes disabled.

With a Durable Power of Attorney, your agent will continue to have the legal authority to make decisions for you regardless of any subsequent illness, accident or other disabling condition you suffer.

The granting of such legal authority to others is one way that an individual can avoid otherwise necessary guardianship court proceedings. The ability of the family to prevent court proceedings by having a Powers of Attorney in place, and the relatively low cost in having an attorney draft one, makes Powers of Attorney a popular estate planning tool.