Can Power of Attorney Be Activated After Incapacitation?

A typical Power of Attorney document grants legal control to the named Attorney-in-Fact immediately upon signature, be it for specific actions or for general personal or business functions should a person become incapacitated.

But can a Power of Attorney document be drafted to only take effect AFTER the maker is unable to make personal decisions?

Standard Legal believes there are more issues, not less, when preparing a Power of Attorney document that becomes valid AFTER incapacitation.


How is one determined to be disabled or unable to handle personal business functions?

Who decides?

Is that decision made by 1 doctor? Or 2 or 3? Or a court?

What happens while the doctors take time to decide if the maker is disabled?

What if the doctors can’t come to a conclusion?

Instead, Standard Legal believes it is a far better idea to prepare the standard Revocable Power of Attorney document, sign it, and then retain it in a safe and secure place until it is needed.

To keep control over the timing of the use of the Power of Attorney, write a letter to the trusted family member or friend who is to become Attoney-in-Fact informing them of where the document is stored, with instructions to access it when you become disabled or unable to handle personal business functions. Then the intent and access is clear…

To easily and affordably create a Power of Attorney document, see Standard Legal’s Power of Attorney software here.