A durable power of attorney is a written document that creates an agency relationship between the person granting authority and an agent, or attorney-in-fact, the person to whom authority is granted.
By signing a durable power of attorney, you authorize another person to engage in specified business, financial and legal transactions on your behalf. It is called “durable” because it does not terminate if you become disabled or incapacitated.
A medical power of attorney, on the other hand, is a document that allows you to designate a trusted family member or friend to make medical decisions for you in the event you become unconscious or mentally incapable of making those decisions for yourself.
The person you designate to make medical decisions for you is called an agent. The agent is given broad authority to make any health care decisions you could have made if you were not incapacitated, unless you specifically restrict his or her authority.