Essential Estate Planning Documents During the Pandemic

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What can you do about our predicament other than wear a mask in public, wash your hands a lot and avoid large indoor gatherings? As an estate planner, you should have up-to-date powers of attorney and inform the agents you name in those documents how they can access them if they don’t already have copies.

I have heard plenty of stories of the virus progressing from, “I don’t feel too bad,” to “I can’t get out of bed,” without much warning.

Let’s ask and answer some questions about powers of attorney (POAs) so that you are prepared if you or your clients have the misfortune of becoming infected.

What is a POA?

It is delegation of powers from a principal to an agent; the agent must act in a fiduciary capacity on the principal’s behalf.

How does a POA differ from a DPOA?

The agent’s ability to act pursuant to a non-durable power of attorney expires when the principal becomes incapacitated. The agent’s ability to act pursuant to a durable power of attorney (DPOA) does not expire when the principal becomes incapacitated.