Does my child’s power of attorney expire?
I’m Michael Jenkins and I’m an estate planning attorney in San Diego. I’ve helped hundreds of clients set up their powers of attorney and their broader estate plan and this is a common question that we get.
I went through the trouble of creating a power of attorney or health care directive for my child before they went to college but do I really have to do this every year?
Powers of attorney generally expire when one of two things happens. Number one, the person who creates the power of attorney or health care directive revokes it. They say I don’t want you to act in that capacity anymore and they name someone else. Or, number two, when the person passes away.
I can’t tell you how many phone calls we get where a client says, “I have power over attorney of this person and they passed away but now the banks not dealing with me” or whatever institution they’re at. It’s because the person passed away. In all cases, powers of attorney end when the individual who created it passes away.
There’s another time where powers of attorney may expire and that has to do with whether it’s a durable or non-durable power of attorney. If it’s a non-durable power of attorney, that means when the person becomes incapacitated and when they can’t speak on their own, the power ends.
If you downloaded our free guide and you got your college student set up with their health care directive the good news is it’s set up to be a durable power of attorney. That means when they can’t speak for themselves that’s when your power comes into play and it’s not affected by their incapacity so if you download our free guide you had your college student complete that the good news is you don’t have to worry about doing this all the time. It’s not something you’re going to have to repeat every year. The only time that health care directive should maybe be updated is down the road when your then older son or daughter is looking at maybe naming someone else to act in on their behalf. So let’s say they get married and they want their spouse to now act on their behalf instead of mom or dad that may be a time to update the document. But the good news is this isn’t something that you’re going to have to update on a yearly basis.
Now if you have any questions about powers of attorney or estate planning in general, feel free to get in touch with me in whatever way is easiest for you. As an estate planning attorney, I’m here and I’m always happy to help.