Durable Power of Attorney: What It Is and Why You Need One

A POA or power of attorney, which enables an agent, the person trusted by the principal, to handle the affairs of the person assigning authority should the person become incapable is known as the durable POA. POAs provide other people power in acting on behalf of other persons, but there are actually many kinds of these legal documents: Limited POA, General POA, and Medical POA. The durable term may be attached to a POA which lets the POA become effective even when the principal becomes incompetent or incapable mentally. 

What’s a POA?

A POA is legal documentation that’s used in giving another person authority in acting on behalf of another person (person who assigns the authority). The person that offers authority is referred to as the principal. As for the person that has been given authority, he or she is called as the attorney-in-fact or the agent. As mentioned earlier, there are different kinds of POAs. 

General POA –This type provides authority in acting for a wide range of matters including the selling and buying of personal property and real estate, management of investments and finances, the operations of a business, the handling of lawsuits and taxes, and lastly, application for benefits from the government. 

Limited POA This one is also known as the special POA. With a limited POA, it provides a person authority in acting for limited situations, those that are only specified within the document. 

Medical POA – This one is special as it provides someone authority in the event that you won’t be able to make medical-related decisions yourself. You may become physically or mentally unable in making your very own decisions. When that happens, having a POA will let you be at peace knowing that you have assigned the power to the right person in doing the task for you. There are different names that are used to refer to medical POAs such as health care proxy, health care surrogate designation, patient advocate designation, and durable health care POA. 


Also Read: How To Notarize A Power Of Attorney In UAE?

How a POA Becomes Durable?

Traditionally, POAs are going to become null and void when any of these situations occur: you become incompetent mentally, you die, you canceled or revoked the document you have created, or the power of attorney has reached the expiration date that was specified in the document. In recent times, a durable POA has become more essential as there may be a time wherein you will need help in making decisions when you are unable to, especially when due to mental incompetency. The durability of a POA means its power will continue to become effective even following the mental incompetence of a principal. 

Being mentally incompetent simply means lacking the ability mentally in making informed decisions or becoming incapable of communicating decisions for yourself. In addition to illness that relates to mental health, the incompetence may also be because of an injury or disease that results to temporary coma or unconsciousness. This can be referred to as mental incapacitation or disability. 

How to Create a Durable POA? 

By their nature, healthcare POAs are always durable POAs. In order to make other kinds of POAs durable, there are certain language that are to be adapted and added to the documents. The language would be part of local legislation which authorizes durable powers for POAs.

 It is important that lawyers are hired in the creation of a durable POA in order to have the right language used in the document. Also, it is important to comply to local regulations with the drafting of the document, which is why it is only reasonable to hire an attorney that specializes in POA drafting in Dubai. 

Also Read: Everything You Need To Know About Power Of Attorney

When a Durable POA Becomes Effective? 

In United Arab Emirates, durable POAs only become effective and valid in the eyes of the law when they are signed properly. Of course, the principal has to become mentally incapable for the durable POA to be of use. 

For the document to become immediately effective, the durable POA has to include language like “the POA shall not become affected even with my subsequent incapacity.”

In order to make sure that the POA will only become effective if the principal is mentally incapable, the POA is to include language like “the POA shall become immediately effective during the date of the incapacitation or incompetence.” With this kind of situation, the principal is not only creating the durable POA, but also a springing POA. A springing POA is a special document that will take into effect with a future event that is specified in the document. 

If you have questions regarding POA, don’t hesitate to reach out to our experts. It can be hard to fully grasp the idea that you may become incapable of making your own decisions; however, it’s best to be prepared at all times. Call us