Why You Can't Make a Springing Power of Attorney with WillMaker


Why can't I make a springing durable power of attorney for finances with Nolo's WillMaker & Trust?


While it's legally possible to make a financial power of attorney that "springs" into effect when you become incapacitated, doing so is rarely a good idea. In fact, creating a springing power of attorney may cause more problems than it solves.

Under a springing power, when the time comes to use the document, your agent will have to get a "determination" of your incapacity. In other words, someone – usually a doctor – must certify that you can no longer make your own decisions. This process creates delay, privacy issues, and problems about having to define your incapacity before you become incapacitated.

Read details about these issues here: The Problem with Springing Powers.

You can avoid these problems by making a durable power of attorney that takes effect as soon as you sign it, like the one WillMaker creates. Just make sure your agent understands exactly when and how you want the document to be used. This degree of trust is a basic requirement for naming an agent. If you don't trust your agent to handle the power of attorney exactly as you intend, you should choose someone else to handle your finances.

If you still feel that you want a springing power, see a lawyer for help. An experienced lawyer can draft a power of attorney that is more closely tailored to your specific situation and concerns.