Jan Cummins - Counselor at Law


Q: What is the difference between a General Power of Attorney, a Special Power of Attorney, and a Durable Power of Attorney?


All powers of attorney are documents that allow one person (the Attorney in Fact) to act on the behalf of another (the Principal) for a legal purpose. The one thing that most powers of attorney have in common is that they cease to operate if the principal becomes mentally incapacitated. A Durable Power of Attorney (“DPA”) is unique in that it remains valid during incapacity.

A General Power of Attorney grants total power over most if not all financial matters that most Durable Powers of Attorney cover, but it is not valid in case of incapacity. A Special Power of Attorney is limited in some specific way, either in time in scope or in authority, and also does not survive incapacity of the Principal.

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