What Are Standards Of Competence Considered In Signing A Durable Power Of Attorney?

Creating a durable power of attorney is important for the creator to protect their decision making abilities and document what is most important to them. In order to prevent the possibility of someone alleging that a power of attorney is invalid due to lack of mental or physical competence, it is important to recognize the typical standard of competence. Durable power of attorney document sitting on estate planning attorney's desk

These include:

  • Ability to organize and plan.
  • The level of consciousness.
  • Recognition of familiar people and objects.
  • Ability to understand quantities.
  • Orientation to place, time and person.

Power of attorney can be very difficult to follow in emergency situations but can also prove problematic when there are questions about the creator’s competence at the time they sign a document. Sometimes, the person creating these documents will go the extra step of getting a letter from their physician at the time that the document was created to help bolster claims of competency.

Most people go through the process of estate planning to avoid problems in the future, so it’s important to plan now before there’s any question of competency.

A party alleging that the document is invalid due to lack of competency may be able to pause actions taken in the power of attorney until the court has had the opportunity to review competency issues. To decrease the possibility of challenges to a health care power of attorney, set aside a time to meet with an experienced and qualified lawyer today. A Queens estate planning lawyer can help you document the most important components of your personal plan, including a power of attorney.



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