A Durable Power of Attorney, or DPOA, authorizes an agent to make legal and financial decisions on behalf of another person referred to as a principal. A DPOA is valid whether or not the principal has capacity or not. That means that the appointed agent can make decisions for the principal even if the principal is not incapacitated. For this reason, it is very important to choose an agent wisely. An agent needs to be someone who is trustworthy, understands his or her role, has the skills to make important financial decisions, and is willing to act as the agent.
A person might appoint a power of attorney if he or she:
is going to be overseas for a long period of time;
is temporarily ill or bedridden; or
expect to lose capacity as a result of a chronic illness.
Among other things, the agent can:
Deal with banks;
Pay bills such as rates, taxes, electricity, phone bills and nursing home fees;