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Choosing your durable power of attorney

There are many components to estate planning aside from trusts and wills. One important component to consider is who you should appoint as your durable power of attorney.

In South Dakota, a durable power of attorney, also called an “agent,” has your permission to review and act on your behalf for monetary or medical related decisions during your lifetime.

Choose wisely

The person you choose to designate as your durable power of attorney should be someone who:

  • Can be trusted to carry out your wishes
  • Will not take advantage of you
  • Is willing to serve as your durable power of attorney

You may also appoint a successor agent to take the place of your initial durable power of attorney in case unforeseen circumstances arise.

Permissions

You may grant your agent permission to act on your behalf immediately or upon your own proven incapacity. Married couples often designate one another as a durable power of attorney with immediate permissions to manage each other’s bank accounts and other assets.

If you choose to grant your agent permission on the condition that you have become incapacitated, a medical physician must prove your incapacitation by stating verbally or in writing that you can no longer make decisions for yourself.

Durable Power of Attorney Responsibilities

Once authorized, your durable power of attorney may be able to:

  • Collect debts
  • Invest money
  • Cash checks
  • Manage a business, if applicable
  • Manage general financial matters
  • Sue another party on your behalf

If you choose to allow your durable power of attorney to handle healthcare decisions, you may also specify your medical wishes, such as whether you’d like to be an organ donor or how you’d prefer life sustaining procedures to be handled.

You can make stipulations to the permissions you’ve allowed your agent. You may also revoke the durable power of attorney designation from your agent at any time.

Having a durable power of attorney can help simplify matters for your loved ones. Contact The Krause Law Firm to learn more about the responsibilities of a durable power of attorney or to take steps to designate one.

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