The statutory durable power of attorney is a document that allows the person or persons you have designated to handle your finances. This document is used if you are incapacitated and are not able to manage your financial affairs yourself.
A statutory durable power of attorney can also be used if you need someone to take care of your finances immediately, for example if you are planning to be out of the country for an extended period of time but will need someone to continue taking care of your house or bills.
The person you designate must act in your best financial interest and according to your wishes. Basically, this document answers the question, “If you become incapacitated, who do you want stepping in on your behalf?” Without a power of attorney, the judge is the one who will answer this question, not you. That's why it's so important to have your estate planning documents in order.
Want more information on what's included in an Estate Plan? Read our article, Estate Planning 101.