A general durable power of attorney is a document that gives broad powers to another individual to make decisions on your behalf. Such a document can be very useful when individuals get older. Often times as individuals age, they become less able to handle the nuances of their financial situation and rely on another family member or friend to assist them in handling their financial transactions. A general durable power of attorney can assist in this process by allowing an individual to designate someone else to close on financial transactions for them and make official decisions on financial affairs. However, a general power of attorney can be very broad in scope. While a general durable power of attorney can be a very beneficial resource, it can also be a very dangerous one as you are giving another individual power to make all of your financial decisions, including buying and selling real property. It is possible to limit a power of attorney to only take effect in certain situations. Best practice is to very seriously consider who you want to serve in the role of power of attorney, under what circumstances you want to allow that other individual to make decisions for you, and what financial decisions you want to allow them to make. Limiting the scope of the power of attorney and providing thoughtful attention to such details can often times be very beneficial to the estate planning process.