Power of Attorney Vs. Durable Power of Attorney

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Power of attorney (POA) is a legal document that allows you, the principal, to give authority to another person, the agent, to act for you in a legal capacity. It has different types, scopes of power, and durations.


A general POA allows an agent to act in all normal areas including purchasing or selling property, signing contracts, and other legal actions. A special POA works only in specified areas.

Ongoing Work

For ongoing work, a general POA allows the agent's authority to continue unless it is revoked or until you become incapacitated or die.

Short Term or Specific

For a short term (such as you are out of the country) or a specified situation, limited time is defined and a special POA used.


A springing POA "springs" into action only under certain conditions, such as incapacitation. You should clearly define what you want "incapacitated" to mean.


Durable POA can be either ongoing or springing. It allows your agent's authority to continue if you become incapacitated.

Durable and Health Decisions

The most commonly used durable springing POA is for health-care decisions. It allows the agent to act for you, or carry out your living will, if you become incapacitated.

Read More: Durable Power of Attorney for Health