Does Power Of Attorney Expire?

A power of attorney is granted by an agent and constitutes the authority to act on behalf of another who is referred to as the principal.

It is a legally binding document and an agent can manage the financial, medal or other property matters of the principal without having to obtain any further court approval.

A power of attorney can expire and it may be terminated for numerous reasons.

Does Power Of Attorney Expire?

Different Forms

A power of attorney that is deemed durable is a legal document that authorizes an agent to conduct the legal affairs of the individual who has signed the power of attorney.

There are differing forms of power of attorney and each form will grant the agent specific powers that they are able to act upon.

Each specific type of power of attorney has a differing expiration trigger depending on the circumstances of its usage.

A power of attorney template from can be used to nominate a power of attorney and this grants the agent the ability to represent an individual’s affairs in several key areas if they should become incapacitated for any reason.

Standard Versus Springing Power

A standard power of attorney will give the agent the overall authority to take actions on behalf of the principal in financial and legal matters.

This form will expire whenever the principal dies, is incapacitated, or revokes the power of attorney. It is important to note that any revoking of the power of attorney must be delivered in written form.

Conversely, a springing power of attorney doesn’t take effect until the principal has become incapacitated.

This form of power of attorney is used if the principal foresees any illness that may prevent them from acting in their own interests.

Once the power of attorney has been invoked, it is normally irrevocable until the principal regains their mental capacity to make independent decisions and can evoke the power of attorney.

Otherwise, it will not expire until the principal is deceased.

Medical Power Of Attorney

A medical power of attorney will give the agent the full authority to make legal medical decisions on the principal’s behalf once it has been invoked.

These medical decisions will include all medical situations and encompass up to and including end-of-life decision making.

The principal can usually modify or restrict certain powers of the specified agent whenever it comes to terminating their life support if required.

This type of power only correlates to healthcare decisions and usually will not expire until the principal has died or is no longer in need of a specific type of medical care.

Medical Power Of Attorney

Durable Power Of Attorney

A durable power of attorney is the most all encompassing legal provision that a principal can grant to an agent.

This power of attorney is invoked whenever the principal is no longer able to act in their own best interests or effectively conduct legal and financial matters in a rational and reasonable manner.

Whenever this incapacity occurs, the agent will assume responsibility for the principal’s affairs and this power will only expire when the individual has died.

It is incredibly difficult to revoke this type of power of attorney once it has been established because it must be proven in court that the principal is of sound mind and capable of making decisions for themselves.

If this occurs, the durable power of attorney would usually not have been invoked initially.

As with most legal affairs, researching thoroughly and understanding the aspects of this power of attorney is crucial prior to signing one or being considered as an agent on someone else’s behalf.

Understanding these roles and responsibilities as much as possible as well as defining the powers granted to the agent is so important prior to signing any power of attorney.

If there are any doubts at all, it is best to consult with a legal expert who will be able to objectively assist you in your decision making.

Resignation Of the Agent / Expiration By Agreement

If an agent doesn’t want to perform their duties under a power of attorney then they can resign by providing written notice to the principal.

In this vast majority of cases, the resignation of an agent will not end the power of attorney.

Instead, the successor agent will take over and if a successor agent has not been named, it will end fully because there are no other agents to take over.

A principal can also place an expiration date on the legally binding document. The conditions of the expiration can include a specific date or state that a certain event must occur for it to end.

This is typically done if the document is only intended to be a temporary measure.

For instance, a college student who is attending a course of international study may grant his powers the power of attorney to handle any affairs during the period that he is gone.

The student could then state that the power of attorney will end and expire once he has returned home.

Expiration Of A Medical Power Of Attorney

In some states, an agent will be appointed to handle health care decisions for the principal if they become mentally or physically incapacitated.

However, this type of document will expire if the principal makes a full recovery and thus regains the ability to make individual decisions.

If you are unable to make financial or health decisions related to yourself, then you should appoint a power of attorney in order to offer you the utmost protection and the assistance of an attorney can help you to create a legally binding document in accordance with your state’s individual laws.