What is a Durable Power of Attorney?



A Durable Power of Attorney is one of the basic estate planning documents that appoints another individual to act as your agent on your behalf, during your lifetime. This document can be especially important if you become incapacitated and someone needs to do your banking, pay bills, and handle other business for you. It is commonly used when someone is traveling, in a sudden accident, struck by illness, or loses capacity to manage their own affairs. The alternative, a court-appointed guardian, requires legal proceedings that can be slow, expensive, public, and onerous over time.


Estate Planning is necessary because, as the old expression goes, "You can't take it with you."  People need a will or will substitute, such as a revocable living trust, if they want to control who inherits their property and how and when that inheritance is received, to minimize administration costs, and to avoid unnecessary taxes.  A well-planned estate is a gift to your loved ones and provides you peace of mind. It is part of your legacy.

Everyone has a different story and should have a unique estate plan.  In most cases, the first meeting with one of our attorneys is complementary and serves the purpose of understanding your goals and educating you on your options.  Depending on the option that is right for you, we will give you a price quote at the first meeting, before moving forward with your plan. Feel free to explore the basic information on our website.  


This blog does not contain legal advice.  You should not rely on this to determine what is in your own best interest.  For legal advice, specific to your situation, you must meet with an attorney.  All posts are based on hypothetical scenarios, not the actual circumstances of real clients. 


is the founder of Hawaii Trust & Estate Counsel, a statewide Hawaii estate planning law firm with offices in Waimea, Hilo, Kona, and Honolulu. He has taught Estate Planning at the Richardson School of Law, and business law courses at the University of Hawaii—Hilo. He has resided in North Hawaii since 2008....MORE