A durable power of attorney is a written legal document that gives another person the authority and right to act on your behalf regarding your finances, even if you become incapacitated. This means that if you are suddenly unable to handle your own affairs, you have preselected someone that you trust and believe is capable to act as your legal agent or attorney in fact, to speak and act on your behalf based on written instructions that you have provided. This document allows your agent to “step into your shoes” and act based on your directions. These instructions can be as limited as allowing the agent to only pay your bills or they can be broad allowing them to handle all of your financial affairs. Your agent does not have the right to benefit from their role such as taking anything of yours as a gift, unless you have specified this in writing. The powers granted in your durable power of attorney can be revoked or changed by you as long as you are competent to do so. These powers will end when you die.