A durable power of attorney is the same as a regular power of attorney, except for one crucial feature. According to ElderLawAnsers, the critical feature is that the ordinary power of attorney ends if the person who gives a power of attorney no longer has the legal capacity to act. This means they cannot have the legal ability to act on their own behalf or behalf of anyone else. In that situation, under a regular power of attorney where the person giving a power of attorney can no longer legally act, neither can the person who has a power of attorney. Most notably, that would be in a situation where they have dementia or go into a coma. They are physically not able to make decisions because of some problem in their brain, or they or they can not do anything because of some problem.

According to AgingCare, a durable power of attorney will continue so long as the person is alive and beyond that infirmity. Be aware that there are specific ways you will have to draft these documents, and there is a precise language that the attorney will have to include. One other thing to keep in mind is that a power of attorney is limited to what the documents specifically state. Your abilities to act on that other person’s behalf and deal with their property is going to depend upon what’s written in the text.

A durable power of attorney does not mean that you are the guardian of that person or the conservator of that person. It simply is giving you the legal right to act with regard to their assets or themselves.