How Long is a Power of Attorney Valid in Minnesota?

It is often necessary to give a family member, friend, or professional entity a power of attorney, which means that you authorize another individual or company to conduct business on your behalf. A power of attorney can be granted for a limited amount of time or can become “durable,” meant to last a person’s entire lifetime.

There are various reasons why you may want to consider creating a power of attorney (POA). Here, we want to discuss the types of POAs that can be created, expiration dates for the POAs, and how to revoke a POA.

Durable vs. Medical POA

A durable power of attorney means that you name a person (the agent) to act on your behalf. Most POAs become invalid if a person is incapacitated or deemed incompetent, but not when there is a durable POA. A durable POA will usually allow a person to handle all of the principal’s affairs, including their finances and health care decisions.

However, it is also possible to have a medical power of attorney. A medical POA is similar to a durable POA. However, the person who is a medical POA will only have the power to make tough medical decisions on your behalf if you are unable to do so. A person with a medical POA will likely not have any power over the principal’s finances.

Expiration Dates

A regular power of attorney will become invalid when a person is incapacitated or passes away. However, a durable POA is the most pervasive and encompassing type of POA. This type of POA only expires upon the death of the individual, not upon incapacitation.

A medical power of attorney will also likely not expire when a person is incapacitated. However, the principal can modify or restrict certain powers under a medical POA when it comes to decisions regarding terminating life support.

Some POAs are considered “springing.” This means that the POA will not become effective at all until a person is incapacitated. Essentially, this type of POA will “spring” into action as soon as the principal becomes incapacitated.

Revoking Power of Attorney

The principal of a power of attorney can revoke the POA at any time, so long as they have the mental capacity to do so. If you have granted another individual or entity the power of attorney over your affairs, and you subsequently changed your mind, you have the right to revoke the POA.

In most places, revoking a power of attorney simply means providing a written notice of revocation to the person who was previously named the “agent” of the POA.

Work with an Estate Planning Lawyer

Creating a valid power of attorney is often part of a larger estate plan a person puts in place to manage their affairs. If you are working on your estate plan or if you want to create a power of attorney, seek assistance from an attorney to help you with this matter. At Knutson+Casey, we have a thorough understanding of estate laws in Minnesota, and we are ready to help you through this. When you need an estate planning lawyer in Mankato or throughout Minnesota, contact us to discuss your case in a free consultation.