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The Difference Between Durable and Springing Power of Attorney

For many of the Woodland Hills clients with whom we work here at The Law Offices of Alice A. Salvo, the decision of whom to give power of attorney and what form to grant unto them is a difficult one. Specifically, you may question what the differences are between the various forms of power of attorney in California. As whomever you hand over power of attorney to will have great influence over your finances, health, and general well-being, it is important that you understand how and when that authority is granted.

When referring to the philosophy of power of attorney, the California Probate Code recognizes two distinct forms of this authority: durable and springing. Durable power of attorney goes into effect either moment that you sign the POA form, or at the time you become incapacitated. If given prior to your incapacitation, then that event does not affect your attorney-in-fact’s authority.

Springing power of attorney, on other hand, begins at the time of a pre-determined event or condition. For example, if you fear not being able to handle your affairs after having lost the ability to walk due to an accident or advancing age, you can specify that power of attorney be granted to another if such a condition sets in.

With either of these forms of granted authority, state law allows your attorney-in-fact to do the same things, namely:

  •          Decide where you will live.
  •          Manage your caretakers.
  •          Handle your finances.
  •          Arrange your recreation and entertainment opportunities.

You can choose to grant him or her authority over all of these aspects of your daily living, or to retain certain ones for yourself.

Further information on incorporating power of attorney in estate planning can be found on our site.