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What is a Durable Power of Attorney?

In Minnesota there are two types of Powers of Attorney:  the Statutory Short Form Power of Attorney and a Common Law Power of Attorney.  Both types of Powers of Attorney can be Durable Powers of Attorney with the proper language.

For background, a Power of Attorney is a legal document that allows you, the Principal, to appoint a person or company as your attorney-in-fact to access and manage your assets for your benefit.  Attorney-in-fact is the title of the person or company serving the Principal under a power of attorney; the role does not have to be held by a lawyer. The actions of the attorney-in-fact are binding on the Principal, so it is important to appoint someone you trust deeply to manage your finances and act on your behalf while you are alive. Regardless of type the rights granted to the Attorney-in-Fact under a Power of Attorney die with the Principal.

A durable power of attorney is a power of attorney that continues in the event of the Principal’s incapacity. Unless a power of attorney specifically states that it is a durable, or states that the powers continue in the event of the Principal’s incapacity, a power of attorney ceases to be effective when the Principal becomes incapacitated.  

A durable power of attorney is effective once validly executed in front of a Notary Public and the document remains effective until the Principal revokes it, all named Attorneys-in-Fact are unable or unwilling to serve, or the document is declared invalid by the court.