Does Standard Legal Offer a Springing Power of Attorney Document?

Standard Legal does not offer a “springing” Power of Attorney document. We made this decision with clear intent, because we believe there are too many variables that go into the making of an effective springing Power of Attorney. Additionally, there are many different decisions that must be made by the user to keep it a viable option for the majority of users.

Most notably, having a user accurately define exactly what “disability” or “incapacity” would trigger the authority of the Attorney-in-Fact in a particular situation could pose a challenge for many self-help software users. We prefer that our users not attempt to create a Power of Attorney that is later determined to be ineffective, or which might not be suitable for practical use.

In addition, we feel that there are certain drawbacks to a springing Power of Attorney that makes the document less practical than a Durable Power of Attorney document. With a Durable Power of Attorney, the document is effective upon execution and can be used as soon as the need arises. However, with a springing Power of Attorney, the Attorney-in-Fact must secure the opinion of medical professionals to declare that the principal is disabled or incapacitated, thereby delaying the triggering the authority of the Attorney-in-Fact.

Further, varying degrees of proof of such disability may be requested by the financial institution (or other entity) for which the document is being used, thereby causing additional delay or frustration of the purpose of creating the document.

Simply stated, creating a “one size fits all” definition of disabled or incapacitated — and what medical evidence would substantiate such conditions — is problematic. Standard Legal is not comfortable creating software for a springing Power of Attorney document that is not easy to use or understand, and could actually exacerbate the benefits of its typically intended use.

We suggest users review the options for the Durable Power of Attorney or the Limited Power of Attorney that are included in Standard Legal’s Power of Attorney title.