Skip to main content

Is there any difference between a Durable General Power of Attorney and a Durable Power of Attorney for Financial Management?

Falls Church, VA |

Of the ones I have seen, they both seem to contain essentially the same language and convey the same powers.

+ Read More

Attorney answers 3


Every POA could be different irregardless of how it is titled.
The title "financial"
seems to indicate that it relates to just finacial
matters whereas general would relate to all matters.
Itis not the title that matters-just the content.
You shouild tell your attorney what you want covered and the document
will be custom drafted.
They can be very board or very restrictive or somewhere in between.

The answer given does not imply that an attorney-client relationship has been established and your best course of action is to have legal representation in this matter.


I agree with Attorney Pippen. POA forms go by all kinds of different names and labels. It is the content of the form that matters. That is one reason why having these forms prepared by a lawyer is so important. Forms that do not contain the correct provisions under applicable state law may not be honored. Some states have statutory POA forms, as well.

James Frederick

***Please be sure to mark if you find the answer "helpful" or a "best" answer. Thank you! I hope this helps. ***************************************** LEGAL DISCLAIMER I am licensed to practice law in the State of Michigan and have offices in Wayne and Ingham Counties. My practice is focused in the areas of estate planning and probate administration. I am ethically required to state that the above answer does not create an attorney/client relationship. These responses should be considered general legal education and are intended to provide general information about the question asked. Frequently, the question does not include important facts that, if known, could significantly change the answer. Information provided on this site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in your state. The law changes frequently and varies from state to state. If I refer to your state's laws, you should not rely on what I say; I just did a quick Internet search and found something that looked relevant that I hoped you would find helpful. You should verify and confirm any information provided with an attorney licensed in your state. I hope you our answer helpful!


The title does not matter -- only the content matters. It is important to understand that not all Power of Attorney documents are the same -- there are no "standard" forms. A Power of Attorney can be customized for every individual based on that individual's desires. From an Elder Law perspective, the most important provisions in a General Power of Attorney are "asset protection powers." These powers include, among other things, the ability of your agent to make unlimited gifts and the ability of your agent to establish, fund, and terminate all types of trusts, both revocable and irrevocable. These asset protection powers can be essential for implementing important asset protection strategies if you become disabled or need long-term nursing home care and want to avoid having to go broke paying for nursing home care.

Most Power of Attorney "forms" that you will find on the internet or obtain as part of your basic estate planning done by an estate planning attorney or general practice attorney do NOT contain these vital asset protection powers. Typically these essential asset protection powers are provided only if you have your Power of Attorney prepared by an experienced Elder Law Attorney, preferably a Certified Elder Law Attorney.

Evan H. Farr can be reached at 703-691-1888 or at Evan is Certified as an Elder Law Attorney by the National Elder Law Foundation, which is approved by the American Bar Association, but Virginia has no procedure for approving certifying organizations. NOTICE - Unless expressly stated otherwise, this communication: (1) is not legal advice absent an existing attorney-client relationship between us; (2) does not create an attorney-client relationship; (3) does not constitute an offer, acceptance, or contract amendment; (4) may contain confidential or legally privileged information protected by the attorney-client relationship and/or work product privilege; (5) is only for the use of the individual to whom it is intended by the sender to be sent, and if you are not such recipient, disclosure, copying, distribution or reliance upon this communication is prohibited; and (6) is not intended, and cannot be used, to avoid tax-related penalties pursuant to treasury department circular 230.

Kelly Scott Davis

Kelly Scott Davis


Very well said. I would only add that when the asset protection powers, and particularly the gifting power, are limited, as is typically the case with non-elder law attorney prepared forms, the cost to the client and familyto fix the problem can end up being significantly higher than what the elder law attorney would have charged to do it right in the first place.

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer