General Power of Attorney vs. Durable Power of Attorney

In this blog post we will discuss the difference between a General Power of Attorney and a Durable Power of Attorney.


In a Power of Attorney document, there are two key players, a principal and an attorney-in-fact or otherwise referred to as an agent. The principal is who the power of attorney is for; principal's designate a representative that acts on their behalf in situations where they cannot act on their own behalf. The powers of an agent are determined by the principal. Most commonly, the powers include, making medical decisions, paying bills and signing checks, buying, selling, and managing real estate, filing tax returns, borrowing money, conducting business transactions, and handling legal or insurance claims.


However, not all power of attorney's are the same.


There is a general power of attorney and a durable power of attorney.


  • General power of attorney's end if the principal becomes incapacitated. In this event, the attorney-in-fact or agent's powers become void and the document is no longer in effect.


  • Durable power of attorney's are commonly advised to have in place because the legal document remains in effect even if the principal becomes incapacitated and remains in effect until the principal revokes the powers of the document or when they die.


Durable power of attorneys are categorized into two main types, a Financial Power of Attorney and a Medical Power of Attorney.


A Financial Power of Attorney authorizes the attorney-in-fact or agent to manage the principals financial affairs should they become incapacitated.


A Medical Power of Attorney authorizes the attorney-in-fact or agent to make medical decisions for the principal should they come incapacitated.


If you are interested in obtaining a power of attorney for yourself or for a loved one, contact a local attorney in your area.


**This is not legal advice nor an invitation to contract*

*Please seek legal advice*

**Licensed in Washington, D.C.**


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