The purpose of a general durable power of attorney is to give full legal authority to another to manage various items if you are incapacitated or for some other reason unable to manage your assets.
If you have a living trust but have inadvertently or purposely left out assets out (such as an IRA), your durable financial power of attorney documents will allow access to those assets if needed. Your financial power of attorney also has the ability to transfer assets into your living trust if assets were inadvertently left out.
Your financial power of attorney has a legal responsibility to act in a responsible manner because he or she is acting as a fiduciary. They are legally responsible for their actions and can be held responsible by a court.
Types of power of attorneys:
A "limited power of attorney" defines only certain transactions or acts that should occur, such as buying or selling a home or car while the principal is out of town.
A "general power of attorney" allows the attorney-in-fact to handle a wide range of responsibilities.
A "durable power of attorney" allows an attorney-in-fact to continue acting if the principal becomes incapacitated. Limited power of attorneys and general power of attorneys terminate should the principal become incapacitated.