top of page
  • Writer's pictureErin Riswold

Power of Attorney: Some Common Terms Explained

Two words you might hear describing powers of attorney are “springing” and "durable.” For starters, they are not mutually exclusive terms. But, what do they mean?

Let’s start with what it means to have a “springing” power of attorney.

Basically, it means it will only SPRING into action when you lose capacity. The power of attorney can spell out specifically what that means, like having two doctors certify to a loss of capacity. But ultimately, your agent cannot use the power of attorney until you no longer have capacity.

If a power of attorney is not springing, it means it is effective immediately upon signing. This is often helpful with an elderly parent that is still mentally sharp, but just doesn’t want to manage their own finances anymore and would like to pass the torch to a child or third party.

So, what does it mean to be a “durable” power of attorney?

It means the power of attorney will last beyond the principal’s incapacity. So, if you grant power of attorney to a third party and later become incapacitated, that power of attorney will continue.

A durable power of attorney is very common in estate planning, because when a person becomes incapacitated is often exactly when you want it.


The information in this blog is intended only as general information, and under no circumstances constitutes legal advice, nor does it create an attorney-client relationship. The information should not be relied upon as a substitute for specific legal advice concerning your particular situation.

For advice specific to your situation, contact us to schedule an appointment.

About the Koons & Riswold Law Office

Koons & Riswold maintains an office in Davis, CA and Auburn, CA to provide clients with legal services in Auburn, Davis, and the surrounding areas. Our Auburn and Davis lawyers provide legal services, which include: Living Trust and Estate Planning services, Probate, Elder Planning, and Trust and Estate Administration. Our lawyers have deep roots in Northern California, having strong familial, community, and professional ties to the region.

126 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page