In Elder Law News

Perhaps a DPOA could do this, but it’s probably not advisable. The agent under a durable power of attorney (DPOA) has an obligation to act in the best interest of the person who granted the authority and to try to do what they would want if they were able to take action. So, they would have the burden of proving that this is what the individual would want to happen. Also, the power of attorney document may or may not permit this type of action. 

The Responsibilities of a Durable Power of Attorney 

When a person selects someone to act as their durable power of attorney, they need to be certain this individual is trustworthy and capable of making decisions in their best interest. They are necessary if you endure a debilitating injury, illness, or disability and can’t manage your own affairs. If you don’t choose a DPOA, family members have to go to court to seek guardianship or conservatorship to help you. 

There are many other types of powers of attorney that go into effect at different times and can specify exactly what actions they are allowed to take. If you are considering acting as a power of attorney or selecting one, contact an estate planning attorney in your area for advice. 

Harry S. Margolis practices elder law, estate, and special needs planning in Boston and Wellesley, Massachusetts. He is the founder of and answers consumer questions about estate planning issues here and at

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