Having a DPOA means that, should the need arise, your spouse or family member will likely not need to go to court to be appointed as your conservator or guardian. Typically, your named "attorney-in-fact" can immediately begin keeping your financial affairs in order. If you are concerned about the DPOA being misused while you are healthy there are some safeguards you can put in place to ensure it is only used if necessary.
It's important to consider the specific powers you would like to give to your attorney-in fact. A DPOA can grant broad authority to your attorney-in-fact, but the courts frown on the exercise of some powers unless they are specially laid out in the DPOA.
Here are some examples of powers you can grant to your attorney-in fact:
1) Sign your checks and pay your bills
2) Maintain property, make repairs, rent property
3) Deposit and withdraw funds from your bank accounts
4) Take title to your car, motorcycle or boat
5) Manage the financial affairs of your business
6) File your income tax return, file for social security or unemployment insurance
7) Access your safe deposit box
8) Manage your life insurance
In addition to naming your first choice for an attorney-in-fact, it's important to consider who your second choice would be. This second person will be named your "successor attorney-in-fact" which means they will serve if for any reason your first choice is unavailable.
You can set up your DPOA so it is immediately active, or alternately you can set it up so it is not valid unless a doctor determines you are incapacitated. There are pros and cons of each which are important to discuss with your attorney.