When you create your estate plan, you may choose to create a power of attorney. This instruction gives a person the ability to make decisions on your behalf.

The type of power of attorney you require depends on what you need. Some powers do not have an official “expiration date.” But others are only valid for a specific period.

When does a power of attorney legally terminate?

According to the Colorado Bar Association, there are a few circumstances wherein a power of attorney can expire legally. A non-durable power of attorney expires automatically if you become incapacitated. If you have a durable power of attorney, it can terminate in a few different ways.

When you die, your durable power of attorney agent no longer makes decisions. At this point, your executor takes over and begins the process of estate distribution. If you created a power of attorney for an express purpose, it concludes when your agent accomplishes that objective. Similarly, if you created a specific termination date, it ends on that day. Finally, you can revoke your power of attorney at any time, causing it to expire.

What can I do to prevent this?

You can assign more than one person to be an agent in your power of attorney documentation. If your previous agent can no longer handle your estate due to one of the above reasons, it may be in your best interest to designate a successor.

Creating simultaneous powers of attorney is not advisable, however. Having more than one person in charge of decision-making at the same time could lead to disagreements.