How Long Does Power of Attorney Last

A power of attorney (POA) typically lasts until its creator dies. However, there are instances in which power of attorney can be revoked or expire early, depending on the type of POA and/or the creator’s wishes.

A Power of Attorney (POA) lets someone of your choice make decisions for you. It involves a creator (the principal) and an agent (attorney-in-fact) responsible for decisions. The type of POA determines the decisions and timing.

Couple Consulting on Power of Attorney
Couple Consulting on Power of Attorney. Photo Source (Forbes)

This article will explain how long power of attorney lasts and the different factors that can affect its duration.

Different Forms of a POA and When They Last

A durable power of attorney grants an agent authority to manage the person who signed it. Different types of powers of attorney provide agents with specific rights and limitations.

Each type of power of attorney has a distinct expiration trigger, depending on its purpose.

In cases of incompetency, a power of attorney template or POA form can be utilized to appoint a representative for various areas:

  • A standard POA
  • A springing POA
  • A medical POA
  • A durable POA
Standard vs. Springing POA

A standard power of attorney grants authority for everyday legal and financial matters, expiring upon the principal’s death, incapacity, or written revocation.

In contrast, a springing power of attorney becomes effective when the principal is incapacitated. It is used if the principal foresees an upcoming inability to act in their own interests. Once invoked, it’s generally irrevocable unless the principal regains capacity to revoke it. This type of power of attorney doesn’t expire until the principal’s death.

A Medical POA

A medical POA allows the agent to make healthcare decisions for the principal, including end-of-life choices. The principal can often modify or restrict the agent’s power regarding life support.

This POA pertains only to healthcare decisions and usually expires when the principal dies or no longer requires specific medical care.

A Durable POA

A durable POA is a comprehensive provision that becomes effective when the principal can no longer act in their best interests. The agent takes over the principal’s affairs, and it only expires upon the principal’s death.

Revoking a durable power of attorney is challenging and typically requires court approval, as it assumes the principal is capable. Proper research and understanding the roles, responsibilities, and granted powers are crucial before signing a POA. Consultation with a legal expert can help with the decision-making process if there are any doubts.

The Bottom Line

The duration of a power of attorney (POA) document depends on its type. All POAs end upon the principal’s death, but you can set specific end dates or conditions.

How Long Does Power of Attorney Last
How Long Does POA Last. Photo Source (Forbes)

The key factor for expiration is whether it’s a durable or non-durable POA. A non-durable POA expires when the principal becomes incapacitated, while a durable POA remains in effect.

Moreover, the principal can revoke the agent’s authority as long as they are mentally sound.