The term “durable” when applied to a power of attorney, simply means that it continues to be effective and binding even after the person signing it has become mentally incapacitated. There are some instances in which someone might prepare a non-durable power of attorney (which would terminate when the person giving the authority loses mental competence) but in the context of estate planning, it is almost always preferable to have a “durable” power of attorney.
A power of attorney can be prepared in such a way to be as narrow or as broad as you would like. For example, an individual could sign a power of attorney granting to someone else authority to manage one particular piece of property for a limited period of time. Conversely, one could prepare a power of attorney than it is very broad, granting the named agent wide-ranging authority handle various types of matters. It could be intended to last forever. The possibilities of the breadth and scope of powers given in this type of document (whether narrow or broad) are endless. In short, a power of attorney should be prepared so to reflect and effectuate your wishes within the parameters you want in place.
For many clients, it makes sense to have a very broad-ranging power of attorney. When considering the potential of, at some future point, becoming mentally incapacitated, having a thorough and broad power of attorney can go a long way to protecting assets, family members and related estate planning. The scope of potential powers to be included usually includes banking, taxes, business matters, estate planning, safe deposit box access, investment, trusts, gifting, personal care and various other matters.