Creating durable powers of attorney enables you to designate someone to make medical and financial decisions for you if you become unable to do so. You do not lose the ability to make your own decisions when you create a durable power of attorney; rather, you provide for situations where you may not be able to act on your own behalf due to illness, disability, or incapacity.

These documents are not only for your own benefit, but they assist your family as well. If you haven't prepared a durable power of attorney and become incapacitated due to accident or illness, lengthy and expensive court proceedings will likely be required in order for your family to make financial decisions on your behalf, and may be necessary for medical decisions as well. Having a durable power of attorney is a reliable, inexpensive way for you and your family to avoid this situation.

Mary typically helps clients to create two separate documents: one for medical decisions and another for financial decisions. A set of two powers of attorney is more helpful than one. This allows you to select different attorneys-in-fact for tasks that may be very different, and thus provides more privacy.